Q&A: The Voice

Randy Beeman is hardly shy about making his voice heard. With a weekly radio show on WMAL for the past 20 years, Beeman dispenses investing advice to those in the Washington, D.C. area on topics from investor sentiment to understanding earnings The Wise Investor Show.

Podcasts are the latest tool he’s added to his marketing arsenal, as his firm looks to attract Generation X — the next get in the investing community. We asked Beeman, managing director of the Wise Investor Group, how he launched his promotional empire, and where he’d devote his energy if trying to find prospects today.

“We added podcasts on iTunes primarily with the idea that our clients are aging and the money will go to the next generation in their 30s and 40s. They’re getting more of their information online and so we wanted to be in front of that shift. It’s tremendously successful. I get emails from people in Kuwait, and Abu Dhabi.

The parents listen to radio show and their kids listen to podcasts. I was at a meeting in Washington, D.C. a couple of weeks ago with a number of hedge fund guys, and one in his 60s came up to me, and said he listens to my radio show every Sunday. Then, when I was walking through the lobby on a break, the concierge came up and said, ‘I listen to the podcast every week.’ And I said, ‘Oh that’s great. Do you hear us on the radio show? And he said, ‘You have a radio show?’ It really goes to the generations and how they get their information online.

Our podcast is only 15 minutes long because the feedback is that people listen while working out or driving to work. A number of years ago we changed the format of our radio show. It’s an hour long, and we used to do one topic. Now we do four to five, because people only listen for short blocks. It’s indicative of the fact that the desire for in-depth information is very limited of our client base, especially the grandkids, even people in their 30s. They want quick hits of information and they move along.

The challenge is you can’t build a substantial business with seminars for 10 people at a time. You have to get in front of a large number of people. The trick is to find a mechanism to get that message out. For us, it was a radio show and now it’s online. Eventually I can see if the trend continues we won’t have a radio show.”

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