I've been living in Japan for about 13 years now - half of the time working for others - the other half working for myself. Since I started up my company back in 2007, I've gained many clients in the anime industry including Good Smile Company, Bushiroad, Production IG, Kotobukiya, Ascii Media Works, Kadokawa, Konami, Yuzu Soft and King Records. Non anime industry clients include Dentsu and the Japanese Ministry of Trade and Industry. Check out my profile to see what I've been doing with these companies.
If I told you that the key to gaining clients is the name card then I'd be lying. But! The name card is the first thing you exchange when meeting new potential clients and an essential part of doing business - not only in Japan but around the world too.
However, you do not need to be running a business to have your own card. Regardless of whether you are a student or a NEET, everybody needs a name card - especially if you are a NEET! People who you meet will enrich your life with opportunities, friendship and inspiration.
When I first started my company however, I had a plain card with only my company logo and a bunch of text - boring and uninspiring. After a while, I thought it made sense to have a design which reflected my company culture.
Since then, I've always had my mascot Mirai Suenaga on my card - it is *always* the first thing that the other party brings up - an easy way to break the ice and allows us to start business talks in a relaxed atmosphere. Much of my work is character development so having Mirai on my card also makes it easy for me to talk about who Mirai is leading to potential collaborations - for example Mirai in anime titles such as MayoChiki and Twin Angel.
Just imagine - you meet somebody who you feel could be a great friend or business partner. They give you a name card but you got nothing to give back - does not look too good does it? It gives the impression that you dont care about any form of career development in life - business or friendship wise. Even if you have their name card and email them later - what are the chances that they still remember you - or reply to you given the first impression you gave of yourself?
I came up with a modified template of my name card and put in illustrations of Mirai done by various illustrators - the template is in Illustrator format and lives here - please feel free to use it to print your own name cards!
The fonts are not outlined so all you have to do is to highlight the text and type over it. The font is Myriad Pro which comes with a Mac - if you are Windows user then I'm sure Google Sensei will tell you where you can download it for free.
If you are giving the template to a printer - make sure you delete all the layers that you dont need and outline the fonts. Start caring about your life career and carry around a name card now!
OK, now that you have decided to carry around a name card - just a couple of notes:-
A video below talks about how a Meishi (name card) should be exchanged properly. Happy networking!