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Using Google Alerts For Your Personal Brand

Since 2018 I had the goal of getting quoted in Forbes. I felt like it was a "coming to age" moment for any business person and in 2024 it happened. I knew the article was coming out soon, but soon wasn't soon enough. I remember checking my email one morning and there it was. A Google Alert with the story and my name. After years of building and multiple pitches, I made it happen.


The Google Alert that let Isaac Mashman know he was quoted in Forbes

Did you know that Google has over 200 products? I can confidently guess that anyone you ask knows and uses Google Search, and will likely be able to name off Maps, Images, and Google Workspace products such as Docs and Slides. I want to discuss one particular product that you may not know about unless you are a journalist or in the SEO space. Google Alerts. This is a tool that I have been using for my personal brand for the last 4 years. An undisclosed weapon that allows me to track my progress and measure my results.


About Google Alerts

Launched on August 6th, 2003 it is one of the company's oldest services and the premise is quite simple. You can set up email alerts on any search query that you are interested in. This means whenever a new story comes out, a blog is published, a social media post goes viral, or a website ranks, you get notified.


Google advertises and explains the service as follows: "Google Alerts is a powerful tool that helps you stay on top of all the things that are important to you. Once you set it up, you’ll get email notifications any time Google finds new results on topics you care about. For example, if you’re a reporter covering a specific beat, creating alerts on relevant keywords will help you stay up-to-date with emails that support your research."


The best part is alerts are free!


How and Why I Use Google Alerts

It can be difficult to measure results when it comes to your personal brand. You can use metrics such as follower counts and engagement rates for your social media accounts, but what about that article you pitched a few months ago and never heard back from? The blog you wrote that you put some keywords on but didn't think much of? Or the YouTube video from 2019 that is for some reason taking off?


Google Alerts allows me to track my progress and see what is working. If I recently went on a podcast tour or made an effort to get onto new sites, I want to know that I have visibility. Every day I am in the habit of running a few Google Searches on my name and businesses just to keep tabs on how I show up, but Google Alerts gives me insight into what is showing up for each specific query.


Down below I included a screenshot of some of the Google Alerts I have set.

A screenshot of some of the various Google Alerts Isaac Mashman has set up for his personal brand

As you can see, I have variations of alerts based on focus and subject matter. I have similar alerts set for Mashman Ventures, my upcoming podcast, my book, and so on. When Google detects something new, I automatically get emailed. They can get out of control sometimes, so I recommend labeling them and putting them in a different folder as they come in.



Sometimes, Google will include a result that has nothing to do with you and that is okay. Either your query was too vague or they are showing a result that is related or close to what you put.


Setting Your First Google Alert

  1. While logged into your Gmail account, go to https://google.com/alerts 

  2. You will see a text field that says "Create an alert about..."

  3. Type in your name, social media handle, business name, etc., and click "Create Alert"

  4. Start monitoring your inbox for emails from Google


A screenshot of the screen that appears when you visit the Google Alerts page. It is blue and white and says "Alerts," "Monitor the web for interesting new content," and has a text field in white that says "Create an alert about..."
The screen you will see when you set up a Google Alert

Final Thoughts

Building your personal brand takes time! No matter how much you want it to happen overnight, it won't. I talk about consciously building your personal brand in my book, Personal Branding: A Manifesto on Fame and Influence and simply want to reinforce that idea with you before you go. Dominating the search results requires a lot of work. It requires writing blogs, getting onto podcasts, having a strong social media presence, and a deal of strategy.


Google Alerts is a tool that you can add to your arsenal at any stage, doesn't cost a penny, and gives you a competitive edge.


I recommend that as soon as you are done reading this, you go set up some alerts of your own! Send them to me too, I want to see how they're working for you!


If you got value from this article, please send this to a friend or share the link with your audience. Thank you.

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Host
(01. 3.)

Thank you Isaac. I didn't know this. Very valuable 😊

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