From Music Man to Internet Marketing Expert

Posted by on November 19, 2014

Richard Grossman is a man familiar with wearing many hats.

At present, he is the internet marketing program chair at both Minnesota School of Business-Richfield (MSB) and Globe University-Woodbury (GU). In his past he has been a musician, songwriter, producer, agent, music publisher, audio engineer, videographer and, most importantly, a teacher.

internet marketing

Internet Marketing Program Chair Richard Grossman

So how does this unique background lead to internet marketing? Let’s start at the beginning…

Richard says he fell in love with music as a youngster back when The Beatles hit the U.S.

“I caught the bug to do it (work in music) for a living and had a passion in the mid to late ’60s. I was very young when The Beatles hit. I always wanted to write songs. I persuaded my parents to buy me an electric guitar and an amp. The rest is history,” he said.

Richard had his own artist management and booking agency in St. Paul in the 1980s. He was booking single artists, duos and trios in clubs around the upper Midwest. Richard says that the market was not great for the artists, nor was it for his commissions.

A friend recommended that Richard connect with the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA), a consortium working to book musicians speakers and comedians on national tours. 

“I had a full roster of artists that I represented who were appropriate for everything from coffee houses to concert halls,” he said.

Richard worked with comedians Louie Anderson and Jeff Cesario before they headed off to Los Angeles and became famous!

“It was a very vital scene for comedy—almost like a contemporary version of Vaudeville. I had a varied artist roster that appealed to colleges,” Richard said. “It was very lucrative and incredibly rewarding, working with artists and colleges, developing a relationship with them. I learned a lot.”

Richard’s next chapter was to dabble in music publishing and “record label stuff.” He and his wife formed a music publishing and independent record label called Crocus Hill Music (which still exists today). They had a publishing administration deal with Copyright Management Incorporated in Nashville.

“We had some success. We had some artists record songs for major labels, though we didn’t get any hit singles,” Richard said. “Through those experiences I learned a ton about how the music business works from every perspective.”

At the same time, Richard was running his own commercial recording studio. He recorded voiceovers and songs, and composed music for television and radio commercials, as well as industrial videos for clients such as 3M and American Express.

If that wasn’t enough, Richard also had freelancing audio and video gigs with Northwest Teleproductions and at the advertising agency Campbell Mithun. 

“I learned a lot. You learn to be a creative scheduler and take advantage of as many opportunities as possible,” he said.

Eventually, Richard decided to stop trying to keep so many balls in the air.

He was travelling back and forth from Nashville, while trying to manage his recording studio and do freelance work.

“I decided to get out of entertainment for my health.”

Richard suffered for many years from a chronic condition called ulcerative colitis, which is exacerbated by stress and poor diet.

“I literally had an epiphany about dealing with this disease that changed my life. That’s when I became a foodie,” he said (as anyone who has sampled his delicious salads at a pot-luck lunch can attest).

Richard in the classroom

Richard first began teaching audio engineering and music business in the 1990s at McNally Smith College. He also taught audio recording at Hennepin Technical College in Eden Prairie.

“I tried (teaching) and I loved it. I felt like I was home and it fit with my new lifestyle. I’ve always liked to help people with their personal and professional growth,” he said.

Richard began teaching courses in the music business program at the MSB-Richfield campus in 2005. He was chair of that department at Woodbury for two-plus years, beginning in 2010. He has also taught courses at the MSB-Blaine campus.

In 2013, he was approached with the idea of becoming chair of the new internet marketing program.

Richard says that because of his uniquely blended background of business, production and entertainment, it seemed natural to transition to internet marketing: he had already developed curriculum for business.

Now, Richard is a passionate advocate for internet marketing and all things digital. As an instructor, Richard coaches his students on how to write blog posts and create appropriate digital footprints for themselves. He prides himself on staying on top of emerging media and best business practices in the internet and social media age.

“I think I’m starting to get this instructor gig down,” Richard said.

Richard is often baffled as to why students aren’t beating down our doors to enroll in the internet marketing program. He’s even created a video about why students should pursue their internet marketing degrees.

Richard says that an internet marketing education at MSB is an excellent choice because of our hands-on learning taught by real-world, experienced instructors who want to share their passion and knowledge, as well as our small class sizes for personalized attention.

He also notes that there is a skills gap in the industry. Our curriculum, informed by industry professionals, is uniquely designed to fill that gap.

You can learn more about internet marketing on our website.

Thank you for your Interest in Minnesota School of Business.