I have a tip about Flickr or any social network site; as obvious as it sounds – try and interact directly with people – especially new people. This is hard for me (even online) because I tend to be withdrawn.
Find people and give them a sincere compliment. Potential customers (such as jewelry makers in my case) are good, since you would be pretty sure that you have something in common, but it could be anybody. From a business selfish point of view, that person may have a friend that would in interested in your product. Also in the online world, you never know who (read potential customer) could be perusing that person’s messages. It could start up a conversation and eventually build a business relationship. At the very least, it made someone feel good.
I accidentally discovered this when I sent a message to someone about her avatar. I don’t recall if she had contacted me first – it does not matter. Her avatar was her dog, and the dog’s expression was truly priceless to me. (It was a plus that her work is fabulous!) I messaged her, she replied, and now she is a great online friend and one of my best customers. Not only that, I am aware of 2 other customers of mine that found me because of her – all because I thought that her dog was cute.
I don’t know if you read my blog, but you know who you are. You taught me a great lesson.
So, I actively seek out things (jewelry, paintings, photgraphs) that I like and leave positive messages. I am careful to be sincere and specific about what it is that I like. (For example, I don’t go around spamming a general “I like this” all over the place.) If only 1% turn out, so what? It’s cheap, and it makes me feel good about making someone else feel good.