by Carolyn Edlund
Google Alerts is a free, easy-to-use tool can be an asset to your creative business.
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There are many useful online tools that can help you run your business. Here is one that could not be simpler to activate and manage. Google has, for many years, offered an “Alerts” function that anyone can access – find it right here. Used strategically, these alerts can give you great information and help you run more art business more effectively.
Setting an alert can be done in seconds. Type in words, names or phrases that you want to follow. Your best results may come from setting alerts for “long tail” terms that are specifically targeted, rather than using more general words or phrases.
Google monitors the web and delivers emails to you when they detect online mentions. Provide your email address (it doesn’t have to be Gmail) and how often you would like to receive alerts in your inbox. You can delete alerts whenever you like, or adjust settings to receive them more or less frequently.
It’s important to know that alerts do not include social media posts or forums, so you won’t receive emails about anything shared on social platforms. Nor will you receive analytics, reports or anything from the dark web. You can select the sources you want to track on Google’s network, which could be news, blogs, videos, or even books.
How can artists use Google Alerts in business?
The more information you have about mentions related to your business, sales channels or prospective clients, the better. Here are some specific ways to use this tool:
- Create an alert for your own name or brand to keep tabs on your reputation.
- Follow experts in the industry, colleagues or authors you like, for advice and inspiration.
- Set alerts for your best customers in order to stay up to date on what they are doing or may need.
- If you blog, use alerts to get ideas for topics to write about.
- Monitor topics that relate to your work to find guest posting opportunities.
- Learn about great deals on materials, supplies or equipment for your studio.
- Receive notice of unlinked mentions, so you are aware of who is talking about you or your work. You might want to thank and connect with people who have written about you, or comment on a blog article they’ve posted.
- Find negative mentions and identify complaints or infringement of your art. This enables you to respond, take action to stop copyright theft, or report illegal sources for your downloadable products.
- Use alerts to track competitors or artists you admire. What are they doing? How are they receiving notice online? Consider how you might use that knowledge in your own business strategy.
- Interested in a particular gallery? Want to learn more about a potential business client? Set alerts to stay updated and current on their activities, publicity and happenings.
- Identify websites that cater to your audience and could be potential marketing partners for you, or places to advertise or connect.
- Are you an artist working in a particular niche? Use alerts to learn what is up and coming, new trends, and headlines. This can inform your marketing or social strategy as you remain on the cutting edge of developments.
- Track local events that might give you opportunities to exhibit your work, sell or grow your network.
- Stay abreast of opportunities, such as grants, artist residencies or artist calls.
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