This sketch is fantastic in that it gives a quick overview of the topics that Alicia covers in her book: A Rising Tide: Financing Strategies for Women-Owned Firms
Women-owned firms represent an increasingly important segment of the small business sector. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 7.8 million women-owned firms in the United States in 2007, generating $1.2 trillion in revenues and providing employment for 7.6 million people. A Rising Tide presents the financial strategies that have helped today’s bold and creative women entrepreneurs to succeed.
In spite of the seemingly positive statistics, things are not really any better for women owned firms these days. What does that mean exactly? Well, it means that we still have work to do, ladies! Let’s find ways to change this. One of the simplest ways it create more female funders.
Take Action: Do this!
Create more female funders.
Women tend to have a harder time receiving funding for their ventures from angels and VC’s. In large part this is due to the fact that women are not networked with the “good ole’ boys.” So, it is our job to get more networked and to create more female investors. The Pipeline Fellowship and the wonderful ladies at Golden Seeds are leading the charge!
Check out their investor bootcamps for women who have the funds, but don’t feel like they understand investing enough to make the leap.
Author Spotlight: Alicia Robb
Alicia Robb is a Senior Research Fellow at Kauffman Foundation A Ph.D. economist with extensive survey and data experience, international development experience, and research on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial finance.
Monday, Sheryl Sandberg’s non-profit Lean In.org and Getty Images are announcing a partnership that will provide a collection of stock photos that represent women and families in more empowering ways.
“When we see images of women and girls and men, they often fall into the stereotypes that we’re trying to overcome, and you can’t be what you can’t see,’ Ms. Sandberg said in an interview.”
That unrealistically high level of attractiveness has become the standard for beauty and we see it everywhere. In magazines, on billboards, T.V. ads, and reality shows. It’s influence is pervasive, and has gone so far as to seep into the collective consciousness of American society. We don’t even need to talk about it for it to be true. It is like the ever-present layer of fog (the one that has it’s own Twitter account) hovering over the S.F. Bay. It doesn’t go away if we ignore it. It only changes if we change our view. Maybe we move to Santa Fe, or So Cal; somewhere else–anywhere else.
The same argument can be made for the stereotypical stock photos to shed light not on the attractiveness of women, but on their role and value in society. Most of the photos are very stereotypical,–1980′s and 1990′s roles. You know the ones. The woman in the gray power suit with the the mousy brown, one-length haircut, black pumps (not too high, but not too low either). Or how about the picture of the mom in her kitchen juggling five tasks, making lunches while slathering butter on the toaster waffles? The pictures of the men are just as average. Men wearing khakis with deck shoes and a hint of gray hair, walking along the beach with his wife (who is also dressed like she just stepped out of an Eddie Bauer catalogue) and two teenagers. A picture being worth a thousand words, we all know what that picture says. It says that the couple is white, still married, upper middle class, and that their teenagers are happily enjoying a family vacation, because the mom stayed at home with them and they were in the best schools. We know that this is not how most people are living, but we continue to use those photos, for others to aspire to such standards.
So how do we avoid just paying lip service to diversity? We parade it around like a badge of pride. The woman in the military returning home to her family, the lesbian couple running an organic farm that serves the families in town by providing their food and teaching the kids to farm, the woman teaching her son to sew, and the man teaching his daughter to hack on Arduino (micro-controllers).
We are grateful for Lean In’s courage and Getty’s willingness to change the status quo, to reflect what is really going on, and to give girls the chance to “see what they can be.” We can only be what we can see is possible. Amen, sisters!
Special thanks to the New York Times article: LeanIn.org and Getty Aim to Change Women’s Portrayal in Stock Photos
Berlin Geekettes Lean In Group
Berlin-based Jess Erickson discusses her reasons for putting together a Lean In group. The groups discuss the book, Lean In, by Sheryl Sandburg (AKA the adult at Facebook). Article taken from LeanIn’s website.
“I have always wanted to push myself and take my energy and intelligence as far as it can go. I knew working with technology would allow me to do just that. But the more I delved deeper, the more I realized there was a gender imbalance. I quickly discovered that technology wasn’t so limitless; it was actually limited for me—as a woman. I wasn’t given the opportunities I deserved and I was often silenced when I wanted to take things to the next level. People treated me differently because I was a woman. I wondered how many other women were going through the same experience, and the more I asked, the more I realized I wasn’t alone.
I have great ideas. And I’m sure there are many other women in the world that have great ideas too. But where are they? I wanted to find them, reach out to them and bring them together in the hope of building a community around one of the most important facets in our ever changing world: technology. This is why I created Berlin Geekettes, a non-profit devoted to helping women innovators in technology. Berlin Geekettes takes a positive and productive step by initiating helpful actions to create a gender balance in the tech sphere. I want to continue to encourage women to strive for what they believe in, to take risks, to mentor one another and inspire the next generation of women to pursue careers in technology and entrepreneurship. To never feel limited—like I did at the very beginning.
I really believe that our Berlin Geekettes Lean In Circle opens up a new space for discussion that goes beyond tech, business and design. We started a conversation in a room that will lead to changes in behavior in our workplaces, companies, schools and homes. Many participants are already looking at gender differently and reaching out to one another to form deeper discussions within new Lean In Circles. I’m thrilled that the conversation has begun, as it’s the first step towards change.”
Lean In Circle
Host: Jess Erickson
Location: Berlin, Germany
Occupation: Founder, Berlin Geekettes
Engineers, entrepreneurs, and designers of the Berlin tech hub. Together, 100 women and 4 men joined a lively discussion to better understand the characteristics and behaviors that undermine women — as well as addressing uncomfortable issues that both genders encounter in their daily lives. One by one we peeled back the layers and exposed the impact that our behaviors have had on women in the past and present.
Circle location: In the Berlin Geekettes office space provided by our partner Deutsche Telekom.
Favorite circle moment: I watched several women express their opinions and share their stories—without fear getting in the way. These were ladies that I knew well and often times would remain shy and timid during past workshops and events. But this time was different. They didn’t hold back, they simply leaned in. Instead of quietly sitting in the back corner, they wanted to initiate conversation and find solutions to ongoing problems in their workplace and home. You could really feel their passion and urgency in creating change. It was extremely moving and a big step forward.
Circle goals: I think we can all agree that we’d like to have a positive impact for the lives of girls and women everywhere. My goal is to mobilize both women and men behind a shared purpose of creating positive change towards gender equality. Powerful movements often begin in small groups like a Lean In circle. If cultivated in the right way, these groups can be fueled by passionate discussion that leads to dynamic ideas and later transforms into real change.
Impact of the circle: The revolution toward gender equality may have stalled, but that doesn’t mean we should give up. We’ve had our failures addressing this imbalance, but we’ve have our fair share of victories too. And we should draw on this strength as we push for a better future. The Lean In book and circles across the globe have already impacted public discussion on gender equality in a very positive way. Our unique and individual circle here in Berlin gives us a voice and allows us to open up without being afraid. A deeper understanding of the issues we face are beginning to surface and now we can finally work together towards finding solutions. I’m so excited.
When Google Fiber arrived in Kansas City the startup scene changed. While funding opportunities haven’t quite caught up with the buzz and the community of startups who are stoked about the extra band-width, teams want to be there. And the quality of teams that want to be there is quite impressive.
Alexa Nguyen and her 4-person team at Handprint are one of those teams. Handprint is a startup that makes 3-D printing easy for everyone. They testing the user experience on the elderly and children first.
Handprint landed themselves the chance to put down roots in K.C. when they won Feld’s KC Fiber House Competition. They won themselves free rent for one year and an open-ended mentorship relationship with Brad Feld, Techstars Founder and startup scene mega-star. Brad Feld is very familiar with the opportunity that 3-D printing brings. His venture capital firm, Foundry, led a 10 million dollar round in Makerbot in 2011.
We caught up with Alexa to ask her a few questions, and these are her answers:
When you were a little girl did you ever imagine that you would be a part of a company in a high risk/high growth situation, such as the tech startup scene?
I spent hours researching “careers” to try and figure out what I could be passionate about for the rest of my life. None of them included “move to Kansas with 3 boy dropouts and build a software company”. But it’ll be normal for kids growing up over the next 5-10 years to be thinking about startups as viable options, and that’s really cool.
How did you get into software? Is this where your core competency is?
My co-founders got me “into” software, though I definitely can’t say I’m in the software game yet. I’m motivated daily by their brilliance, this language I can’t fully speak, and the world’s need for hackers, so I’m taking advantage of my team and learning a lot. I’m really excited about learning front-end development, so I can really dig into UX (User Experience) and become an Internet marketing queen.
Historically, tech startups and hardware startups have been male dominated. Why do you think that this is?
Startups in general have been male dominated. Evolutionarily speaking, men are programmed to take risks to attract the ladies, and the startup life of exploring/innovating was always seen as pretty risky. Honestly, it’s easier to look past the risk in a situation that’s almost entirely under my team’s control and how well/strategically we execute our idea.
Is this something that should be changed, in your opinion?
This is something that IS changing.
If so, how do you think we can change this?
My generation gets that women are ballers and will hire based on skill. As women, we have to keep being awesome and doing awesome things. Though the ratio is skewed, women are already in positions of power where they can set the example and prove that tech and hardware startups need females. It can only get better from here.
You are living in Kansas City as a part of google fiber and the Feld KC fiberhouse. How has living and working amongst such a concentration of startups helped your company?
The Feld house is located in the Kansas City Startup Village, this atypical little neighborhood where over 20 startups work and/or live within 5 blocks of each other. The emotional support that comes from having a bunch of friends who are passionate about the same problems and live similar lifestyles keeps me from burning out when things get brutal. We’re also really lucky as a team to have moved into a neighborhood filled with seasoned, accomplished, and welcoming startup people who have become our mentors.
Brad Feld, Foundry Group
Willingness and enthusiasm from city politicians looking to support the scene makes this entire movement more accessible. I’ve also seen corporations (who have the resources), namely Sprint, start to step up and really get involved in driving the revolution forward. They recently announced their accelerator powered by Techstars, which is really exciting, and they’ve got some other great ventures in the works. And 1 Million Cups!! 1MC has helped rally and unify our community, giving us a way to feel like we’re making progress instead of sitting in our separate silos. There are the obvious networking, education, and awareness aspects of 1MC, but don’t underestimate the power of unifying and inspiring the community.
Where do you see 3-D printing in the next 5 years? Will we see a mass adoption and printers in every home? Will the materials change? Will the printers become smaller and smaller?
Yes to mass adoption!! Innovation on the hardware side is happening at a crazy pace. Printers are getting cheaper, and a study just came out saying the average family can save $500-$2,000/year by owning one. The revolution is really just waiting on usable software.
The current, popular material is corn-based PLA. And there are a lot of materials that are compatible with 3D printers; it’s just not cost efficient for them to all be available to personal printers yet. But hold fast, we’ll see the industry go nuts over the next 5 years.
What do you think that you bring to the Handprint team as a woman? Are there gender differences that impact the way you relate to your team?
I think men are more willing to communicate frustration to a female, so I’d say a higher level of communication within my team. And as far as gender differences, not really. We’ve been living together in close quarters for 10 months and know each other really well now, so we’re all just humans to each other at this point.
This article originally appeared in the Harvard Business Review
By: Nir Eyal
A friend called me heartbroken, crying. She had spent months looking for investors to fund her fledgling startup and now she had a big problem. Someone was ready to give her the money.
Trouble was, the cash came with a catch. The only investor willing to pony-up the money was someone she didn’t like. She also got the feeling he did not like her much either, and yet, he wanted to invest. “If he was involved, I have the feeling I would quit my company down the road,” she told me over the phone.
Time was running out, she needed the funds and with no other investor ready to commit, she feared she’d have to take the money from someone she couldn’t stand. The very thought made her sick in the stomach.
I felt for her and her dilemma piqued my curiosity. What differentiates a great early-stage investor from someone no entrepreneur wants to take money from unless they absolutely have to? I wanted to know what separated angel investors — those who add value to a company — from devil investors — those who destroy it.
Last month, famed investor and Sun Microsystems co-founder, Vinod Khosla, shocked a tech conference audience claiming, “… 95 percent of VCs add zero value. I would bet that 70-80 percent add negative value to a startup in their advising.” Can Khosla be right? Can investors be a liability rather than an asset?
“I don’t know a startup that hasn’t been through tough times,” Khosla said, and it is during these rough patches that he believes many investors fail their companies. But there are more ways an investor can screw a company than giving crummy advice.
A classic Harvard Business Review article demonstrates how investors can negatively impact the psyche of startup founders, often with toxic, long-lasting repercussions. The paper’s authors, Manzoni and Barsoux, describe a disorder they call the “set-up-to-fail syndrome.” Though they focus on how this affects the manager-to-employee relationship, I believe the affliction can also manifest in the context of an investor-to-founder partnership, particularly when a first-time entrepreneur is involved.
What is this sabotaging syndrome? It begins innocently enough. The chain reaction usually begins with the “tough times” Khosla says are part of every company’s lifecycle. Sometimes the investor has pre-existing doubts about the CEO’s abilities, but the infection usually starts when the company misses a minor target or isn’t progressing as quickly as anticipated.
When things do not go as planned, many investors increase supervision of the company and its CEO. The investor’s doubts in the founder begin to show in subtle cues like body language and tone, as well as in not-so-subtle ways like sending emails asking for more frequent progress reports. The investor may also initiate lengthy discussions, wanting to know how the company intends to get itself back on track.
The investor’s questions are legitimate — it’s his money after all. But the byproduct of the increased scrutiny is the deterioration of the founder’s confidence and creativity. The entrepreneur suspects the investor is losing faith and responds by overcompensating in an attempt to fight the investor’s perception.
The CEO may start working at an unsustainable pace and demand the company’s employees do the same, squandering mindshare and team morale on unnecessary tasks to placate the investor. Fearful of further disappointing her patron, the CEO may unintentionally paint a rosier view of the company or stop asking for critical feedback.
As the founder shares less, the investor interprets the CEO’s closing-up as an inability to surface problems — a sign of poor judgment and a lack of competence. The investor becomes increasingly frustrated and is now convinced that the CEO requires further oversight.
But as Khosla admits, investor’s ideas are often crap and with so much attention focused on what the investor thinks is best, the company misses real opportunities.
As the study’s authors point out, “Perhaps the most daunting aspect of the set-up-to-fail syndrome is that it is self-fulfilling and self-reinforcing — it is the quintessential vicious cycle.”
Taking cues from the more experienced investor, the first-time CEO begins doubting her own abilities. She begins performing her job mechanically, avoids risk-taking and spends more time and energy catering to the investor’s requests. The CEO’s self-doubt fuels poor performance, validating the investor’s suspicions and throwing the company into a self-perpetuating death-spiral, which leaves the once-promising CEO dazed, confused, and often times, out of work.
Stopping the Syndrome
The tragedy of the syndrome is that it is fueled by good intentions. The founder wants nothing more than the company to succeed and the investor has no intention of destroying value in a company he’s invested in. But according to Manzoni and Barsoux, how people with power react in times of trouble can have a considerable and often deleterious impact on others.
But the set-up-to fail syndrome is preventable and reversible. Both entrepreneurs and investors can take steps to vaccinate themselves from the disease.
When my friend faced the unfortunate choice between an investor she did not want to work with and the potential death of her fledgling company, she had a difficult decision to make. In her case, she decided to keep looking for other investors, believing that starting a company with the wrong person was worse than not starting a company at all.
But merely finding a good investor is not good enough. Angels can become devils when conditions bring out the unintended behaviors of well-meaning people.
An antidote to the syndrom is acknowledging how people in positions of authority influence the performance of others. Whether it involves investors, bosses, or managers, any supervisory relationship can fall prey to a breakdown of confidence. Investors must beware of the trap of labeling founders as deficient people and instead stick to judging objective outcomes and circumstances.
Next, expectations about the degree of supervision should be set early in the relationship. Companies that institutionalize regular dialogues between hierarchies can head-off the syndrome before it gets out of control. A similar practice can help CEOs and investors get along. There are many ways to open the gates to better communication — a topic several Bay Area startup CEOs and investors will discuss here.
For their part, company founders can prevent the onset of the syndrome by understanding its potential impact and guard themselves from the performance drains that come from the downward spiral.
The set-up-to fail syndrome can only continue if the CEO perceives that the investor is losing faith in her abilities. Ultimately, founders and investors are on the same team and both want the company to thrive. Therefore, regardless of what the devil investor may say or do, the startup CEO must perform a bit of mental acrobatics to keep her sanity.
If the perception of disappointing an investor is getting in the way of guiding the company, the entrepreneur must choose another point of view. Founders must to ward-off the demons of self-doubt by never interpreting investor’s actions as, “You are failing,” but rather, “I want us to succeed.”
Both founders and investors can take steps to prevent the potential unwinding of their relationship and their company. The investor must to be aware of his role in shaping the CEO’s actions and serve as a trusted advisor rather than an overseeing elder. Meanwhile, the entrepreneur must inoculate herself by not allowing negativity to thrive, choosing instead to view the investor as an ally rather than a watchman.
In my own experience having worked with several fantastic investors, it was always the great ones who not only had insight, but also the humility to confirm that the company CEO knew best. Even during the company’s tough times, interacting with real angels leaves entrepreneur energized, confident, and more creative than before.
Real angel investors make founders feel like Gods. They remain faithful in the face of uncertainty and help CEOs rise to the challenge. They imbibe founders with an omnipotent sense that they can do anything, but, like God, they have a lot to do.
Here’s the gist:
- Investors who add value, not just money, are angels while those who destroy it are devils.
- Devil investors can unwittingly destroy company value by perpetuating the “Set-Up-to-Fail Syndrome.”
- Entrepreneurs and investors can both take steps to prevent the syndrome and preserve the relationship, especially in tough times.
Ed Batista, Dave Kashen, Max Ogles and Scott Saslow contributed to this essay.
Photo Credit: iDream
comments | read more
This past week Eric and I took a week long stint to the Black Rock Desert. If you are a Nevadan you probably immediately cued into the fact that that the only reason one might subject herself to such harsh elements in the dead of summer, would be to take the trek to Burning Man. Burning Man has become a huge event and an absolute gamechanger in the world of festivals. I am a sucker for studying gamechanging startups, events, and movements. Besides going off the grid for a few days, I really wanted to be a part of a city that lives by rules that no other city lives by, and with very few hiccups.
Burning Man, as many of you know has several guidelines, or rules of engagement that make it one of the most unique cities in the world to live. Yes, I said city. This year there were just under 70,000 people in attendance. The city was complete with public works, urgent care, and Rangers. It is a fantastic experiment in community building and in the gifting economy–as there is not allowed to be any money exchanged at Burning Man. With the exception of the coffee and ice sold at center camp by the Burning Man organization. The proceeds of those sales go to being good neighbors to the town of Gerlach, NV, who has to deal with the traffic for over a week.
On the second to last day, as most people were packing up their things, I attended a Bitcoin meetup.Like Burning Man, Bitcoin is an experiment in doing something outside of the norm. The white geodesic dome was chock-full of people. Most of those in attendence were of the male persuasion, in fact, there were only six women out of the 50 or so people. Coincidentally, all but one of them, (of course I asked them), was there with their significant other. The XY- to XX-chromosome imbalance of the Bitcoin world is so baked in that newbies are actually warned to have their scam antennae on the lookout for “any user blatantly claiming to be female.” (Coindesk). It was a fantastic discussion about the stability of the currency, the future of the currency, the moral implications of dealing with currencies outside of the U.S. dollar. Amongst the crowd, there were investors, miners and people who simply trade in Bitcoin. A whole lot of knowledge on a subject that has only recently become a viable solution to operating outside of a currency that has historically deflated due to our ability to print more money. A few times there were some heated arguments as not everybody agreed on everything.
Like all innovative ideas, there is a tipping point. A point in which the early adopters are not the only people sitting around at the most inconvenient of times in a dome with no A/C in the middle of the desert, just to discuss the topic, to debate the intricacies and to predict the future.
Game Changers We Know About
What are some other products or startups that were originally out-of-the-box ideas that nobody thought would ever gain traction? Think about Etsy in 2004. Nobody had heard of Etsy or even been able to remember the name. Now, it is a household name, there are over 800,000 sellers on the platform, and Etsy is now partnering with major retailers to bring more innovative craft designs to the marketplace and to directly connect innovators and national brands. Whoa! Most never saw that happening. You mean to say that designers and makers no longer have to sit in a drab design house cranking out ideas that will never have their name on them? They have changed the way e-commerce is done, much like Amazon and Ebay, nobody has changed e-commerce the way those three amigos have. Consider Amazon for a moment. I use Amazon for almost all commodities online. Why? Because they ship faster and are cheaper than any other online e-commerce store. I would buy Tom’s shoes on Amazon before I would buy them from the Tom’s site. They have all but conquered the logistics of selling multiple brands online.
It is my belief that Bitcoin will also be a game-changer. It will most likely change the way we exchange currency in the future. People all around the world will no longer be tied to the constantly fluctuating currencies of their home countries. They will no longer have to wait hours or even days for a single transaction to a family member in another country to clear, or else pay large sums of money as a transaction fee to a middle man like Western Union. Retailers will no longer have to lose a huge margin of their profits to credit card processing fees. Oppressive regimes will not be able to stop a villager with a simple Nokia cellphone (a la 1999) from making transactions. Can you just imagine the future? A currency that is FASTER, CHEAPER, and HAS NO BORDERS? What about the deals and discounts that retailers will inevitably end up offering to customers who are willing to pay using BitCoin? Can I get an A.MEN?
Where Are My Girls At?
Pua Pyland, The Bitcoin Wife
So, where my girls at? Women carry the power of the purse, so why is almost all of the innovation that is taking place around this newish currency being developed by dudes? I believe that it is our responsibility to create the future we want to see. People who are early adoptors of Bitcoin have a huge advantage over those who find out about it later. I want to see women early adopters creating startups around the concept of Bitcoin. Coming up with ideas that include Bitcoin + (your passion) . Ladies, please join me in getting pumped about this. I need your brain power and your unique perspective as a woman to help develop this currency in all of the possible gamechanging ways.
So here’s my two cents on how you can get started.
1. Read. Read. Read. Get your head wrapped around the concept. Understand the benefits as well as the risks of making purchases with Bitcoin. And once you think you have a good working model in your head, then try it on for size.
2. Experiment. Buy a few coins–not as an investment or a storage of wealth, but as a something that is interesting that you want to try out. Like a hobby. Think about how we teach our kids to understand the concept of money as a currency. We let them play with a few dollars, right? We give them a couple of bucks and let them go crazy in the candy store. Or we help them sell lemonade for $.50 a cup in the front yard. Bitcoin is a different beast than the dollar and the process will at first feel foreign to you. Give yourself permission to mess up and to learn, just as you would give your kids the same freedom.
- Khan Academy-The guy who saved your parenting face when your kid brought home a differential equation problem that you couldn’t solve, now has a cheat video for you too! Bit Coin-What is it.
- TheBitcoinWife- a fantastic blog by a woman bringing you “the fresh and fabulous” in the Bitcoin world.
- Coindesk-a site for non-technicals that reports on Bitcoin.
There are endless number of resources on the topic, ironically, because those same geeks that are early adopters of Bitcoin also, largely tend to document things on the Internet very throughly. You can thank your nearest geek by donating Bitcoin to them. Kidding!
“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask! Act! Action will delineate and define you.”
So here we are. Embarking on an amazing life change that few people actually have the courage to try. To leave the comforts of normal, steady and predictable and follow our dream? We must be crazy! I personally find myself swinging on a pendulum between super-duper confidence and a “go out and get ‘em!” attitude and the crippling self-doubt and questioning that leaves me feeling stuck.
I think as women we get an extra dose of dealing with these feelings because we have the added responsibilities of our home life that don’t seem to weigh as heavy on men. This concept that we must first tend to duties, responsibly, and when there is time we can go ahead and get after our goals. This idea that we will find the time later on to find out who we are and get that all sorted out then. Wondering why we then find ourselves miserable and unfulfilled?
Feeling the need to take action! To live authentic lives! To give something of substance to the world! Something created with heart. A service offered with passion. To live a life of purpose and accomplishment!
GO GIRL! Don’t stop movin’
So we’ve made the decisions to throw ourselves out to the wind, only to find the abyss of questions and things we do not know or were not prepared for. If we stop to continually ask and analyze we can talk ourselves right out of momentum and get paralyzed. Momentum is the magic to taking your ideas and making them a reality. Momentum will eventually lead us to the answers we are seeking. Momentum will keep our heads down, with the desire and drive to forge through.
The old adage, “actions speak louder than words,” holds true here gals. When we stop asking and questioning and start doing, we become defined as movers. On our way! Keep going! And when you are handed a big bursting ball of energized momentum, no mater what, don’t let it go. Roll with it. See where it takes you!
Mandi Holden is a writer, baby mama, and all around truth-seeker. She is a champion of the marginalized and a lover of God. You can follow her at Realology.
If people are talking about you on the Internet, then you should know who they are, when they are talking, and what they are saying. This isn’t high school. You no longer have to hang out with your crush’s sister to get the skinny on whether or not he ever mentions your name. The easiest and quickest way to find out where you are being talked about on the Internet is to use Google Alerts. Google is thee QUEEN of gossip. The Google knows what’s going down. Trust it. And, it’s free if you have a gmail account. If you don’t have a gmail account, you can create one for free.
It takes about 5 mins to set up google alerts. And once it is set up, it will send you email alerts automatically. You won’t have to touch the settings again, until you decide to be alerted for different terms.
Here is a simple step-by-step Video Tutorial that I found on the web.
You can use Google Alerts for:
Monitoring your brand
- What are people saying about your brand? Are they blogging about you? Reviewing your book?
Monitoring your competitors
- Find out when your competitor shows up in videos and articles.
Monitoring the questions that are being asked in your niche
- For example, If you are a beauty blogger you will want to be a part of the conversations that are happening around beauty, right? Be alerted when the questions like: “What is the best moisturizer for the price?” show up on the web.
We want to hear about you.
How do you use Google alerts? Do you love it? Hate it? Think it’s useful? Useless?
What gossip has it made you privy to that you wouldn’t have been?
We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.
Onward, friends! We’ve got a whole world to conquer! Get up on it!