This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.Not sure why you aren’t getting clients? If you already know who your ideal client is, then it might be because you’re making a mistake in how you communicate with them.When it comes to communicating effectively with clients, here are 5 important tips you should keep in mind:Email communications make it hard to convey enthusiasm or excitementIf not done right, an email response to a potential client can come off as stilted, boring, or disinterested. It can be challenging to balance out being professional with friendly underlying tones!One of the ways you can keep things a little more casual without sacrificing your professional voice is to use some grammatical contractions throughout (e.g. “doesn’t” instead of “does not,” “I’ll” instead of “I will,” etc.). Another way to master this is to incorporate adverbs and adjectives into your writing (for example, instead of saying “Thanks,” try “Thanks very much”). It conveys a little more personality and gives the other person some insight into who you are—it will make you more human.Being informal does not mean using sloppy spelling or grammarJust because you’re shortening words and perhaps incorporating more informal phrases (such as “That’s great” or “Sounds good!”), doesn’t mean you should sacrifice your spelling.In fact, if you are going to have a more informal voice as a key component of your brand, spelling and sentence structure matters even more than if you write in a formal voice. You want potential clients to take you seriously. Always proofread your email communications before hitting the Send button.Combine casual elements with more professional elementsIf you’re using an exclamation point or two in your email communications, for example, then balance it out by signing off with a slightly more formal closing, such as “Best,” “Best Regards,” or “Sincerely.”As much as possible, try to consider how you would feel about receiving this email if you were in the other person’s position. How much do they know about you and your voice? If this is their first time connecting with you, what is it going to make them think about you and your brand?When in doubt, avoid using emoticons and emojisIt all depends on the feel of your brand, but as a general rule, in professional settings where you are providing a freelance service and you are responding to a stranger’s inquiry, avoid peppering your email with smiley faces. If it’s a client you’ve been working with for a while and you know each other well, by all means, toss in the odd smiley face. Just be sure that it’s in an appropriate place to do so!As a blogger, when I connect with other bloggers, I’ll often use emoticons or emojis in my communications—it’s common among bloggers to use smiley faces. But it’s something I avoid doing for potential clients unless I know it’s something they’re really into, which brings us to the next point…Try mimicking the language your clients useThis goes for your clients in general (what type of language does your target audience use?) as well as individual clients. If someone reaches out to you with tons of exclamation marks and emoticons, and you respond with a formal email because that’s typical of your brand, they might not be as interested in working with you.People want to work with others who reflect their attitudes, values, and personality—and one way to demonstrate that is through our language and writing style.This isn’t to say that you should change who you are or deceive people in your communications, of course! On the contrary, it’s about showing different people different aspects of your personality depending on which fits with them the best.Sagan Morrow has a decade of experience as a freelance writer, editor, and social media manager. She is the Chief Communications Officer at Juxta Communications and loves being able to pass on what she’s learned over the years with other freelancers, in between doing her client work.
Mastercard makes its blockchain API availableMastercard has announced it will make its blockchain API available on the Mastercard Developers site. The API will be implemented in the business-to-business space in order to address challenges of speed, transparency, and costs in cross-border payments. This technology will complement Mastercard’s existing technologies such as virtual cards, Mastercard Send, and Vocalink. The four key features of this blockchain are privacy, flexibility, scalability, and the reach of Mastercard’s settlement network. Transaction details are only shared among those involved in a transaction, which ensures greater privacy while still maintaining a fully auditable ledger of transactions. It can be used in conjunction with other Mastercard APIs to create a range of new applications. It is designed for commercial processing speed and extensibility. It is integrated into Mastercard’s payment network, which includes 22,000 financial institutions.“By combining Mastercard blockchain technology with our settlement network and associated network rules, we have created a solution that is safe, secure, auditable and easy to scale,” said Ken Moore, executive vice president for Mastercard Labs. “When it comes to payments, we want to provide choice and flexibility to our partners where they are able to seamlessly use both our existing and new payment rails based on the needs and requirements of their customers.”CIP Core launched for testingThe Civil Infrastructure Platform (CIP) announced the release of the CIP Core today, a customizable, reference minimal file system for testing CIP kernel and core packages.CIP’s focus is to accelerate and develop the standard for long-lasting, Linux-based infrastructure systems. “CIP is committed to creating, testing and maintaining an open source software foundation needed to deliver essential services for civil infrastructure and economic development on a global scale,” said Yoshitake Kobayashi, chair of CIP’s technical steering committee. “The CIP Core is a major milestone that will provide a platform for developers to easily build a reference file system and quickly test the CIP kernel with specific application and use cases. This customizable testing will eventually became a part of the product solution.” Teradata has announced the availability of the Teradata Analytics Platform. The new platform will allow users to use their preferring tools and programming languages across multiple data types. According to the company, analytics is embedded close to data to eliminate the need to move data around in order to analyze it. The new platform will also enable users to analyze large data sets quickly and more frequently. “In today’s environment many different users have many different analytic needs,” said Oliver Ratzesberger, EVP and CPO at Teradata. “This dynamic causes a proliferation of tools and approaches that are both costly and siloed. We solve this dilemma with the unmatched versatility of the Teradata Analytics Platform, where we are incorporating a choice of analytic functions and engines, as well as an individual’s preferred tools and languages across data types. Combined with the industry’s best scalability, elasticity and performance, the Teradata Analytics Platform drives superior business insight for our customers.”New mixed reality initiatives from MozillaMozilla has announced that it’s expanding its work in virtual and augmented reality for the web with a focus on increasing compatibility between different technologies for developersMozilla’s WebXR API proposal outlines the ways the company plans to use and interpret common concepts, such as “Anchors” in AR, to make it easier for developers to create mixed reality web experiences.In addition, the company is expanding the support for 3D browsers with Firefox on desktop and AR support for the Meta AR headset.