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Communicating Well With Your Clients

Clearly communicating with clients is not always easy, and we are often asked for advice. Here are 3 sure-fire tips that we believe will improve any client relationship.

1. Make your voice heard. You were hired because you have specific talent or expertise. Don’t be afraid to share your opinion! Your client will appreciate your candor and dedication to their success, and your work will be better for it.

2. Give frequent updates. No one likes being in the dark, especially when they’re paying good money for work. Often times there are long stretches of silence between updates. Over-communicate! Sharing your progress and status lets your client trust you because they know what is happening (even if it’s not all good news).

3. Most importantly, always be kind & work hard. It seems like common sense that these qualities should thread through everything you do, but that’s not always the case. Clients may forget the details of everything you did for them, but they will always remember if you were nice & worked hard.

Now get out there and communicate!

Invoice notes formatting improvements

A few weeks back we made some improvements to the way invoice notes are handled under the hood. We thought it would be helpful to write about them so that more of you can benefit from them and get feedback on how to improve to make them better suit your needs.

Not all of you may know, but the “Invoice notes” field allows a small subset of HTML tags. Unfortunately we can not allow all HTML tags due to security considerations, so we employ whitelisting to only permit some HTML tags.

You can use elements like A, STRONG, EM, UL, TABLE etc. Here is a list of all the allowed elements and attributes:

Our recent improvements included 3 changes:

1. all permitted HTML elements can have the class attribute present.
2. <TD> elements can have the colspan and rowspan attributes present.
3. A set of CSS classes for styling elements inside invoice notes.

Here is a full list of CSS classes you can apply on the elements inside invoice notes in order to style them:

These styles will be applied consistently across all variants of your invoice – on the web, in emails and PDF.

For example, you can use these styles to provide details about a particular line item on your invoice in the notes. Using the following code:

Would produce invoice notes formatted like this:

Invoice formatting notes example

Hope you enjoy these improvements and can’t wait to hear from you.

OpenSSL vulnerability security response

The engineering team at Blinksale has worked to assess the impact for our customers of the CVE–2014–0160 vulnerability, also known as Heartbleed.

This critical vulnerability has affected a large portion of service providers over the Internet, who are using OpenSSL.

After our investigation there is no evidence that any Blinksale user credentials or user data were compromised.

Audit results

The Blinksale application is not using a version of OpenSSL having the Heartbleed vulnerability.

The Blinksale public website is hosted on AWS ElasticBeanstalk, which may have been using a version of OpenSSL that was vulnerable. Amazon has reported that all AWS services have been updated.

All the accounting and invoicing applications with which Blinksale integrates already were or have been secured.

As a precaution, we are rotating all of our SSL certificates and keys.

Webinar Opportunity for Blinksale Users!

Hey all! One thing we hear from you guys often is that you need help with your cash flow.

Our friends at ZenCash are putting on a webinar that you are going to love called “A 13th Month of Cash Flow.” It is free and it will take place at 1pm EST this Wednesday.

Check out the teaser and sign up for the webinar here.

Giving Yourself Some Inspiration

We may be in the energetic early stages of 2014, but it’s always a good time to think about giving yourself a professional boost. Maybe you’re firing on all cylinders but could use some ideas to keep your creative juices flowing. Or maybe you’ve started the year off so hard that you’re already hitting a wall.

Either way, I wanted to give you a few ideas to step up your game:

1. Grab coffee with a mentor. This can be someone you know, or maybe someone you have just admired online who is also local. If you don’t know them already, introduce yourself. Ask for an hour of their time. Talk to them how they got started, what they love about the work they do, and share tales from the trenches. And then make sure to keep in touch and meet up again.

2. Ask your Twitter followers for a podcast or blog that inspires them. There are a few companies and people who —no matter their profession —always seem to level up my productivity and desire to succeed.

3. Go play. It may seem counter-productive, but getting away from your work for as little as 30 minutes can give you the perspective and inspiration that you need. Even Einstein took violin breaks. Go for a hike, a bike ride, or whatever makes you happy and puts you in a relaxed mental state.

Try one of these ideas out soon, and let us know if they helped!