1. Go Pro. If you haven’t set up a pro account, just do it. At just $24.95 per year, its one of the most economical ways of creating your portfolio online. With a Pro account, you get unlimited photo uploads at up to 20 MB per photo, unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, statistics and the ability to post to up to 60 group pools.
2. Convert to a vanity URL that matches your business. From your profile, you have the ability to edit the URL that will take people to your Flickr stream. While you may have started with something simple like “Joe’s Photo Stream”, remember this is always about your business. Flickr.com/VirtualPhotographyStudio is a lot easier to share and sounds more professional than Flickr.com/JoesPics.
3. Thumbnails matter too. Every set or collection you create is represented by a thumbnail. Your thumbnail is the first introduction people have to your photography – make sure its engaging and has the inspiration to make someone want to click. Remember you also have the ability to select which image will be the cover of your set or collection. Don’t go with the first one loaded – be selective and choose the one that will showcase your work the best.
4. Tagging is important. For many photographers, tagging is an afterthought. But tagging is the one thing that can help you market better than your competition – if you know how to do it right. Start by tagging based on the image itself – location, description, content, people in the photos, etc. Then spend some time finding out what people are searching for, and tag using those terms as well. If you haven’t spent some time using the Flickr search function, spend some time searching yourself to learn the ins and outs of the system.
5. Join groups. Flickr is an amazing social site if you use it right. Just like Facebook, you can build your own profile, join groups, and share with friends on a regular basis. Make sure you’re logging into your Flickr account just as often as Facebook or Twitter. The more you share, the more you’ll gain.
6. Make it live. The best thing about social media is the ease of use. If you’re out at an event, use your mobile device to send photos immediately to your account. The bigger your following, the more people will watch what you do.
7. Give your images different copyright statuses. The main reason you are using Flickr is to promote your business. Yes, there are some images you don’t want others to use. But always make sure you’re loading images you don’t mind being shared, and make those photo streams available. Bloggers use Flickr all the time to find photos. If someone likes what you do and uses your work a lot, you may be able to gain traction from that relationship.
8. Keep track of stats. Do you watch the statistics on your website or your blog? Flickr has a tool that allows you to follow your stats on your Flickr account as well, available only to its Pro account holders. Flickr stats can be accessed from any of your photo or video pages by clicking on the stats button on that page. You can learn how people are finding your photos, and whether they are coming from Flickr itself or an outside website.
9. Attach a Flickr stream to your blog. If you have a WordPress blog, there are many different plugins available to connect your Flickr stream to your blog. Interconnectivity is key with online marketing. Give people a choice of how they want to view your work. When they find one source, make sure they have the ability to move from one place to another, and quickly see what you have to offer.
10. Don’t always think from your professional side. As photographers, our instinct is to only share the best images we have. Don’t just think clients or what you can sell. Think everyday life too. Start a Flickr set that showcases a day in the life – what can you photograph around you on a daily basis? If you’re out with family, or at a tradeshow, share those images as well. The idea behind blogging is sharing your stories with your readers. With Flickr, share your stories with your pictures. People buy because they connect and build a relationship with you. This gives them the tool to build that connection.