Is your online reputation killing sales?

If you don’t stop and think before you post, your online reputation could be killing your music sales and licensing opportunities.

I make the bulk of my living licensing music online through royalty-free music licensing sites. Many of these websites have thriving online communities. One in particular, , is very active.  Another popular community for composers is the

I am constantly amazed at what people post online. It is quite common to see composers/authors post things like:

I can’t believe my item was rejected, other libraries accepted it.  The reviewers don’t have a clue….

This post is typically followed up with several replies agreeing and sympathizing with the author/composer.

Another less common post but one just as bad goes something like this:

I just saw a video that used my music and I don’t think they purchased the correct license, how do I find the client and make sure they have the correct license, do I need to have an attorney write them etc….


I just saw a video that used my music and they did not give me proper credit, I am going to go after them for copyright infringement, do I need to have an attorney write them etc….

So why do the above posts bother me? 

Buyers often  google an authors name/username before making a purchase. It is very common for your community posts to show up in these search results. Now think about it from the buyers point of view for a moment. If I am a buyer, do I want to license music from an author/composer that has trouble getting their music approved. It makes me wonder if there is something wrong with their music.

If I am a buyer and see an author complaining about credit, licenses, copyright infringement, etc… I am going to steer clear of their tracks. Nobody wants to deal with the hassle. I don’t care how good your music is, if a buyer thinks you have the potential to cause problems they will just find another track.

Whatever you post online is online forever.  You do not want to post anything that could reflect negatively on you or your music, especially when you are first starting out and building a reputation.

Whatever you post online is online forever. You do not want to post anything that could reflect negatively on you or your music,

So if you feel your track was unfairly rejected what should you do?

If you have tracks rejected from a library, reach out to some of the top authors/composers in the library and ask them to take a listen to your track. You will be surprised at how many are willing to give you tips and advice. When I first started selling in the royalty free music space, I reached out to several top authors and asked them specific questions and for general tips and advice. Almost all of them were willing to help me.

Here are a few guidelines for reaching out to other authors/composers:

  • Be friendly – even if you are angry about a track being rejected – never bad mouth a library or reviewer.
  • Ask for permission before sending a track to review.
  • Ask specific questions. You are more likely to get a response back if you ask specific questions.

I would avoid contacting the library about rejections. Online music libraries get thousands and thousands and thousands of submissions; they don’t have time to deal with composers hurt feelings. On a side note, I also see many complaints about generic rejections.  Library reviewers are incredibly busy and don’t have the time to explain why each and every track is rejected. It’s your job to figure out why.

If you do try to contact the library – BE NICE. Reviewers try to be objective, but they are people, not machines. If you are rude to them, I have no doubt it can hurt your other submissions, even with the most objective reviewer. No one wants to work with a jerk.

If you feel like there is a problem with a tracks usage/license, or if you feel there is a client issue what should you do?

DO NOT CONTACT THE CLIENT DIRECTLY! Even if you are in the right, do not contact them directly! All it will do is make them angry or leery of working with you or the library again.

Contact the library and NICELY explain your issue. Ask them how you should proceed and let them take the lead. Their reputation is on the line as well as yours, and they likely have a lot more experience dealing with clients.  They may tell you to contact the client directly.

At the end of the day remember, people want to work with and help people they like.

Action Items

Spend some time reviewing your current online reputation.  Google yourself as well as your composer/author username and see what kind of image you are projecting.  If it is not the one you would like to project, take a deep breath and work on changing it.

About the author

Tim Brown

Tim Brown, the artist behind Brown House Creative and is an award winning producer and composer based in Nashville, TN (Music City USA ). Tim is a prolific writer whose music has been used by a number of his high profile clients, including Monday Night Football, The Olympics, ABC Sports, and A&E Biography, to name a few.

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