4 ways to market your art with Google Alerts
Looking up the right pages on the web, finding uses of your art online, mail, maps, documents, news, video… as far as Google is concerned, everything you need can be done through their services. To artists, Google’s services can be very useful as well. Not only is it possible to do an ‘ego search’ for yourself and see what comes up, you can actually save yourself some time by enabling Google Alerts; a service that sends you a notification as soon as whatever you’re looking for is being used anywhere online. With some clever uses, you can even have these alerts take over some of your every day tasks. In this post, I’ll list some of my own ideas and uses for these alerts and walk you through setting them up as well.
How to set up Google Alerts
Setting up a Google Alert is a fairly easy process. Take your browser to google.com/alerts, which will show up something very similar to this window.
In this example, we’re Jane Doe looking for our name being used anywhere along with the search term ‘artist’. Google automatically refreshes a preview window with results that would have come up if this were a real search query. In our case, this is what we get.
Not getting a lot from your first query doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It can actually be a good thing not to be flooded with alerts for your name, just an occasional heads up could be enough to keep you in the loop.
After you’ve typed in your search query, you get the chance to change some paramters to make your search even more precise.
Are you being featured in the news? Are people talking about you in groups? Are you super famous with authors writing about you in their books? Tick the option that seems relevant or leave it open to get all results across the multiple platforms.
You will also have to make the choice whether to have the alerts delivered to your inbox or to a feed (if you’re unfamiliar with this, just go for email for now, if you’re used to using RSS readers, this might be a nice feature to try) and if you’d like to hear about a new result immediately (as it happens), daily, or once every week. Don’t worry too much about this; you’ll be able to change this later by managing your google alerts (login required).
Four ways to market your art with Google Alerts
I’m sure that, as we were going through these steps, you’ve thought of some clever uses of these alerts already. To help spark your creativity a bit further, here are some clever uses to market your art through Google Alerts.
1. Getting a heads up when someone mentions your name
The most obvious alert is the one giving you a heads up when someone mentions your name online. I find this very useful when I see my name being used in blog comments and/or discussion groups, as I get the chance to jump in and join the conversation to explain more about myself and offer everyone a chance to take a look at my portfolio. It’s also a fantastic way of keeping track of your PR and knowing who is talking about you where (and who isn’t!).
2. Knowing when someone is copying your work
If you’re a writer or a blogger, one of the most annoying things that can happen is someone copying your work and republishing it without your permission (or even a credit). This has happened to me many times in the past, and I found out about it through Google Alerts in almost all of the cases. Putting your blogtitles as a search query in Google Alerts will do the trick, and it might work for artwork as well, if they’re at least kind enough to mention the title of the piece. If the use is fair and meant to be promotional, you’ll get a chance to ask for a link to your portfolio and perhaps even write a short bio about yourself.
3. Finding press opportunities
By monitoring certain topics through Google Alerts, finding press opportunities gets much easier. You’ll see a blogpost or a news item being published as it happens, and get the chance to jump in and offer the author the opportunity to link to your work related to their article and expand your network along the way.
4. Spying on your frenemies
Do you know of a fellow artist that somehow gets all the attention online and in the offline press? Put his or her name in the box as a search query and see how and why he or she gets mentioned in the press. And if you’re clever – you’ll get in touch with the authors and webmasters to include you as well. Who doesn’t want multiple angles on a story?
What clever uses of Google Alerts can you think of?