You may have seen recent articles about a scam that is targeting photographers. It is more than a scam, it is blatant extortion. If you have not been made aware of this latest target on our back, you can read up on it here and here.
Even if you escape this email scam, there is still a chance to get scathing reviews from people who are not even your clients. A simple wrong click or a case of mistaken identity can still hurt you. On a positive note, maybe they ARE your clients, and maybe it's a positive mention in a forum. In each and every case, you need to monitor what is being said about you and about your business (or someone else with the same name). So are you watching your back? How would you do it? Google search for yourself once a month? Once a week? You need to respond to these ASAP, so maybe you search every day? This is where I say, “Ain't nobody got time for that!”
How about you let Google watch your back for you? After all, Google supplies the search results to your potential clients, right? Here's where Google Alerts comes in. Google Alerts has been around for a long time, and if you have heard of it already, you probably have a dozen alerts setup already. If you do not, here's a simple way to set this up and some tips to get optimal alerts:
As I mentioned, this is so useful in identifying any complaints, slander or even impersonation of your personal name or business online. However, I'd like to focus on the positive uses of this tool, such as when someone gives you credit or a positive mention. You might diligently watch your Yelp listing or Facebook page and thank people for a positive review, but how would you know if you were mentioned elsewhere?
I will share the example of my fellow editor here on Showiteer.com, Stephanie Moore. I frequently request Stephanie to help test out my instructions and she happily obliges (thanks, Stephanie). Anyway, by creating a search alert, we were able to find a blog post by a photographer who credited Stephanie for her editing services (you do know that Stephanie edits Like A Boss, right?). In this way, you can use Google Alerts to help nurture your relationships with other vendors or partnering businesses by giving them some love back.
So go ahead, setup those alerts and let Google watch your back.
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