Friday, March 12, 2010

EB Friday Hotlist: Flickr

I  am still not 100% convinced that Flickr leads to sales, but it's worth a try anyway. Some sellers have mentioned success with it. If you're not already familiar with Flickr, it's a photo sharing website for personal photos. I have to stress the personal part. If you create an account DO NOT mention your shop anywhere but in your profile. If you put it in the item descriptions and they find out, you'll be shut down. That's the one downside I've seen so far, but pretty much everyone knows now to click on your profile.

Clearly the main benefit of Flickr is the ability to upload photos. Free accounts have 200 pictures max at a time, but for $25 you get unlimited access to your pictures for a year - which comes out to about $2/month. My advice is to keep a basic account until you exceed the 200 picture mark. You'll know when this happens because an annoying red banner will show up at the top of your page telling you about Pro accounts. Then I'd go ahead and take them up on the offer, as it's pretty cheap for a year's worth of hosting.

Flickr allows you to add contacts, so be sure to search for some of your Twitter friends or Etsy team members to get connected. Their recent pictures will be shown to you at the bottom of your start page, giving you easy access to what your friends have been working on. If they add you as a contact, your pictures will show up at the bottom of their page as well, maybe prompting them to check out your shop to get that new pendant you just wrapped.

Groups are another great feature of Flickr. Different groups have different rules, but you can find a group for just about anything you're interested in. I'm in Adopt North Carolina Animals, Art of Pride, Artisan Jewelry on Etsy, Collaborators In Cahoots, Etsy - Look and Learn, Flickr Ideas, NC Triangle Street Team, North Carolina Artists, North Carolina Jewelry Artist, Sweet Figments, and Zibbet Your Arts and Crafts Here. As you can see, I'm in groups that are international, local groups, and groups that are based around a common interest. I strongly recommend searching through groups for your city (if it's a metropolitan area) or your state (if your town is not so huge). Note that almost every single sale I've made online so far on any venue has been from people in my state - the handmade community loves to shop locally. Once you've joined the groups, upload pictures to their photostream to gain some exposure and let your team members see what you've been up to. The added benefit to this is that often a member may be using the pictures as promotional tools on another site. For example, the NC Triangle Street Team Flickr stream is visible on their blogspot blog. If I've uploaded a picture recently, it shows up early in that slide show and I get my product shown to all the people frequenting the blog.

You can, of course, make your own slide shows. Your pictures can be organized into sets and collections which you can then use to make widgets of a specific set of pictures. The widget can be displayed on your blog or another website. If you'd prefer to promote the group, it's always appreciated by other members for you to do that too. Cross promotion is more than just good karma, it's good business sense. Often when you promote someone else, they become interested in promoting you in return.

There are some other features Flickr has like ordering prints and a company blog, but I haven't really explored these. Take the time to look through Flickr on your own and be sure to leave a comment if you notice something I've left out.

If you don't have a Flickr profile, I highly recommend signing up for one. It's an easy to use, cheap promotional tool. If you have one, please post your link in the comments so we can all connect!  Mine is here.

Until next time,


Finding Charm said...

I found joining groups helped a lot in views. I haven't made any sales either.

Elle said...

Well let's hope that all exposure is good exposure. :) Thanks so much for leaving your link!