Catch Randal Constant on the #PirateBroadcast
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Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns 0:18
It's a great day for the pirate broadcast. I have an amazing opportunity for you today because we're going to be talking a little bit about LinkedIn, as it pertains to company pages. Also, some showcase pages. Some things that are good, I think, draw a little bit of interest in the pirate community. As always, if you're not here live, and you dropped in and found us on Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Twitter, on russjohns.com, wherever you happen to be following us, please like, comment and share. Kind of reach out and do all that social stuff that makes things work in the social world. Today, we have a pirate in the room that's that's been making some amazing progress. Just crushing it out there with new followers, likes and also has done some amazing things on expanding the business pages. So we're gonna be talking about that. Randal, good morning. How are you?
Randal Constant 1:29
I'm doing fine. Doing a okay. Wasn't it pretty good that we figured out why I was in the fog.
Russ Johns 1:42
Well, it's been raining there. The weather's been a little bit humid. So I'm sure that you've got a little bit of humidity on your camera, but it's all cleared up now. We're all good.
Randal Constant 1:51
Yeah. So how about that?
Russ Johns 1:53
So Randal, you've been in the food business for over 40 years, and you've been talking about food, you've been prepping food. Now on LinkedIn, you've been on LinkedIn for years. This year, it just seems like a an explosion for you. You want to talk about what you've done and how far you've developed this year alone.
Randal Constant 2:15
Yeah, I started on LinkedIn in 2009, when I found out that, hey, this is a good way to kind of keep track of everybody in the category that you're in. I was all in on LinkedIn. Hey, Russ, remember the deal was, we used to take articles from professional journalists and then share them. That's what we did in the beginning. Then about five years later, when these six years later, when, for me anyway, when they decided to let like, amateurs like me start writing my own stuff, that's when I realized that whoa, wait a minute. Hey, that's pretty cool. People actually follow it and read it.The distribution was pretty good. So for the last six years, I've been writing about American food companies. You know, Russ, I figured that, hey, that's something in this in the country that we live in today. That's something that we could all agree on, buying stuff from the United States, products that are made in the US.
Fantastic. I want to say that Gabriel's here. He says, hello everyone. Hi, my favorite pirates. You know Gabriel?
Randal Constant 3:28
Russ Johns 3:30
Got to love Randal and Calvin. Absolutely, positively. One of the things that I love about you and Calvin is the focus you have on the food industry. You've expanded that food industry to all 50 states. So you went through a process where you actually got LinkedIn to give you access to create a, is it a showcase page?
Randal Constant 3:56
Yes, I, I started out by making a showcase page for the US. I made one for Texas and I made one for Louisiana. That's how I started off. Then it was working out pretty good, so I figured that would be great if I could just do all 50 states. So it took a while to get the...LinkedIn probably thought I was crazy. Are you kidding me? You want 50 of them? Yeah, I wanted one for each state. So far, I have followers for each one of the 50 showcase pages. What I do is, when I write about a company, a lot of times what I'll do is I'll put it on that particular page. By the way, Russ, hey, how about this? How about this? I guess after this is over, I'm going to go ahead and do a contest of free food giveaway of some product that's made in the state of Texas. You spent some time in Texas, right?
Russ Johns 4:52
I was in for a number of years. Yeah.
Randal Constant 4:55
You probably eat the stuff that's coming from Texas, don't you?
Russ Johns 4:58
I probably do.
Randal Constant 4:59
Yeah, anyway, Calvin and I started this food giveaway. It actually started out with a company out of Texas called Tech Santa brands olive oil. Did you know they have olive trees in Texas.
Russ Johns 5:13
I don't doubt they have anything in Texas. Never surprises me.
Randal Constant 5:19
I knew California. From what I understand, I'm not positive, but I think there's like 50,000 acres of olive trees in California. There's like 5000 in Texas. So anyway, Michael J paws, told me, hey, Randal, if you want to give product away, why don't you go ahead and do that and we decided to give six bottles of olive oil that's made there. There are different flavors, like jalapeno and onion and garlic and that type of stuff, as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, we gave that away. We figured the way to do it is let Calvin get involved. I put Calvin in charge of that. I love that. Yeah, so Calvin is in charge of that giving product away. Unfortunately, since my whole family's LSU, he happens to be Alabama. So he picks the winning name out of his Alabama hat and that's how we got started with that. We started doing it three or four months ago. Today, we're gonna go ahead and, if you follow my personal page today, Calvin's gonna give six bottles of Tech Santa brands, olive oil, he's gonna give five packs egg rolls from Dallas, and that's Vans Kitchen. Then he's gonna give four jars of salsa away, 2 green and 2 red from La Casita out of Texas. So it's a Texas giveaway. That's gonna be today. Calvin's sleeping in right now. That's the work that he's got to take care of later today.
Russ Johns 7:03
Yeah, I love watching you grow these business pages, and the showcase pages. So for those that aren't familiar with the showcase page, kind of describe to us and tell us, Randal, what that does and how you manage that compared to just a business page or your personal profile.
Randal Constant 7:28
On December 13, I had 64 followers, 64 followers on my company page. Okay, I want it I'm gonna start on company page. Okay. But you see what happened is they came up with this LinkedIn invite feature. What that does is it makes it really easy to take all your personal followers, it pops them all up to where you can just pick the ones that you want to invite to your LinkedIn company page. What happened was, I only had 64 in December, and now I have 2150. So the LinkedIn company page started growing, it really worked well. What I found out is that the showcase page is set up the same kind of way. So since I have 10,800, connections, I set up to 50 pages. Then little by little, I invite the people that actually live in all those different states to the showcase page. I don't know about you, but if you would look for somebody that you're connected to on LinkedIn, it's hard, you don't even remember who you know. It's just so many connections to keep track of. So now what happens for me is some of my connections follow the different states. If I want to run across a who do I know in Texas, and I go to my LinkedIn company page, I'm sorry, my page for Texas, for instance, it'll list pretty much all my connections that I have, because it shows you who's actually following you. That's a new feature that wasn't available before. If you know who is following you, then you know what type of content you want to write about.
Russ Johns 9:22
I like that a lot. So where have you seen some other instances of showcase pages that make a lot of sense because I was trying to figure out how, because I could see the business page, and then I could see a showcase page. Say for instance, if you're doing an event or an expo or something along those lines. You could use that as a springboard to kind of generate some interest in that event. However, you still have to invite people to get there before they can even be notified that an event is even taking place. So the way you've done it is a wise choice in growing the environment there before you start doing things there.
Randal Constant 10:11
What happens is you get the people that actually live in the state. Then you get the people that actually are from that state. So the thing in the food business people move around all the time. You might have a guy in Cincinnati. You think you work with a guy out of Cincinnati in the food business, and you think he's a Cincinnati Bengals fan? Then you find out he's from Tampa? So he's a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan. So you didn't know that because you thought it was Cincinnati. So that's what you have, you have the interest from the people that are originally from that state, and the people that are working in that state. Or you got to deal with the company that you work for that happens to be from that state. So there's all kinds of different ways of getting connected to that particular state page. So right now, it takes a little bit to get it going. But I started, probably about three months ago, and I have almost 1500 followers. So that's not bad. That's not bad. The fact that you know exactly who they are, that's even greater. That's pretty awesome.
Russ Johns 11:18
It's pretty awesome. In fact, we've got some people here...Andrew, he is here, He's working on a plant based bat substitute to help in wet markets. You'll have all types of flavor and crunch and real bad but no COVID aftertaste. HIett says, unable to stay, he's over in Houston. He's probably got some cravings for some salsa there. He might be reaching out, connecting with you. So Howard Kaufman is here. Terrific content, Randal. Great identification of emerging trends that apply across many diverse consumer categories. I think I connected you guys. Did you get connected with Howard? Randal? You remember?
Randal Constant 12:08
I think I did. Yeah, I think I'm connected.
Russ Johns 12:13
So Michael Baker says, hello, Russ. Morning, Russ. Thank you so much for being here, Michael. Hopefully you can connect with Gabriel and some of the pirates here, Randall. I am in the Dallas Fort Worth area, so Gabriel is interested in the subject.
Randal Constant 12:32
He probably knows about the olive trees.
Russ Johns 12:34
Yeah, he probably does.
Randal Constant 12:36
He might have seen some.
Russ Johns 12:37
It's up that way, isn't it?
Randal Constant 12:39
You're right. Somewhere in that neighborhood.
Russ Johns 12:43
Owura says, hi to Randal. You got some fans out there. Randal.
Randal Constant 12:48
Yeah. Hey, how's it going?
Russ Johns 12:49
Michael Baker says, cool. Hiett says, Meeting with Ronnie Wilsher about 9:15. Tell him I said hello. Say hi to to Ronald Earl Wilsher. Michael Baker says, it's within you. Life coaching, Georgetown, Florida. Let's connect. It's within you. life coaching, Georgetown, Florida. Let's connect. target market. Okay, cool. Thanks. Hiett, says great info. I'll check in with you later. So Hiett Ives is checking in with Ronald Earl Wilsher. Michael says, garlic olive oil, I'd like to try it.
Randal Constant 13:31
That's it. That's the one You can't go wrong with that one.
Russ Johns 13:32
Reach out. Connect with Randal. Have Calvin draw your name. Get some olive oil. Hey, hey, hey, Randal and Russ.
Randal Constant 13:42
Hey, Kenyatta, Calvin really loved her background the other day on your pop up, your Phoenix pop up? He said he didn't know that Kenyatta had a plane.
Russ Johns 13:57
That was pretty awesome, wasn't it?
Randal Constant 13:58
That was a private plane, private plane.
Russ Johns 14:04
I love the LinkedIn community for connecting and making sure that we have a lot of different people in the community that we can actually reach out to and, it's like you said, hard and challenging sometimes to know who to connect to and know who's where and what they're doing, and everything else. So, I love the beauty of the showcase pages in all 50 states. So how is it been for getting products on there to showcase Randal?
Randal Constant 14:38
What I'm doing is, when I write a story about anybody, I don't really ask any questions. If I find a good product, that's good. Basically photography, if you got great photos of your product, and I run across it, and then I'll find out where it's from. Then what I'll do is I'll go ahead and write about it. Put it in the state that it belongs. So it's kind of like I'm I'm setting up that big collection. Then you have Hot Wheels as a kid. Yeah, now you collect all your cars. Well, I'm collected. I'm collecting different companies and each one of the categories. That's what that's what it comes down to. But here, here's the deal. The deal on the LinkedIn, the LinkedIn company page, a company can talk about, I'm hiring, a forklift operator or a warehouse guy, a salesman. What do I do for the planet? I'm saving electricity or whatever you're doing. But then, if, let's say, for instance, a meat company goes ahead and processes bacon, hams and sausage, then you could actually have a showcase page for sausage. Just talk about sausage, you make 10 different types of sausage. Do a post on the kielbasa, the Cajun, the pecan smoke, the hardwood, sausage, whatever, and about all the different sausage and have that as your showcase page. Then do one for bacon and do one for the the categories that you're in. Or what about if you're in the food business, what about if you sell to the food service trade, and the retail trade, then you do a retail one where you have all your packages, you've got 17 UPC, so all these different products. But guess what, I make it for the restaurants too. Then you talk about it there. So you could kind of diversify there. Food service retail. Then you can do it by departments. Let's say you sell everything under the sun, you could have a page for deli, bakery, seafood, meat and do it that way. LinkedIn has as a set up to where they have, where you can get 10 showcase pages. So I think it works, it would be a good thing to set up. That's the way I look at
Russ Johns 16:58
It would be interesting because I could imagine a general contractor could say we specialize in inspections. So you have a showcase page for inspections. Or we do pole barns or we do high end custom homes, and you'd have a show page for that. So each division could have its own showcase page.
Randal Constant 17:22
It's just like Roger Wakefield, Roger Wakefield, you talk about plumbing, he can talk about plumbing for the commercial side, plumbing for the home side. He could actually break it down if Roger wanted to do it.
So the strategy, though, when you get a showcase page is you can actually invite people and you can see who attends that page connects with that page. So you have more visibility and who's actually contributing to the community there.
Randal Constant 17:51
Right. So it's just like New York. On New York, I have 92 followers, almost about 50% of that is journalists. Okay, so I have journalist following. Okay, from most of the major networks. Then I have chain stores that are in New York, that are following it, it could be deli, it could be bakery, it could be frozen food, it could be all the different departments. Then I have manufacturers that are there. You have Rosina and Prapini. You have acme smoked fish and screaming onions out of all of that area. So they follow it too. So you got a combination of all kinds of people following.
Russ Johns 18:40
So let me ask you a question. Do you have the ability now, because you have LinkedIn live on your business page? If you have LinkedIn live on your business page, can you actually create a story, a live stream for that showcase page?
Randal Constant 19:05
You can't really go to the showcase page, but you can do a LinkedIn live featuring made in Texas or made in Louisiana or made in California, you can do that. So today is the first day that I actually do a giveaway, where all the product comes from the same state. So, you see I'm making progress. Texas is the first state for me to have enough stuff to give multiple manufacturers from one place.
Russ Johns 19:37
I just think that's awesome that people are sending you stuff to to share and promote. I think there's a huge opportunity for you to continue to grow there. I mean, all 50 states, somebody makes something in every state I have to imagine. You just have to discover what it is.
Randal Constant 19:54
The one that's difficult is your neighbor, New Mexico. If you find that some food items that are made in New Mexico, make sure you let me know. Then like Colorado. Colorado was at the bottom of the barrel for a while and then all of a sudden it took off, but you know what I mean. Montana, Wyoming. Hey, by the way, if you go to Maine and Wyoming, it's made in Wyoming foods, that's the page. If you go there, you'll see some pretty good looking chocolate. I mean, that's nice and it's coming from Wyoming.
Russ Johns 20:34
I used to have neighbors when I lived in Oregon, cannot spot fudge. They used to sell it at the the market down there, some amazing fudge that was down there.
Randal Constant 20:46
I think later down the road, just give me some time. If this would have been available six years ago, when I had started this six years ago, I would have 10 or 15 manufacturers in every showcase page. California and Texas and Louisiana would probably have 100 different manufacturers.
Russ Johns 21:06
Oh, heck yeah.
Randal Constant 21:07
But like I said, I'm just one person right? Now, the funny thing that's happening is that I picked up 9500 followers in the last five weeks.
Russ Johns 21:19
That is amazing.
Randal Constant 21:20
That is amazing.
Russ Johns 21:21
All on the business side and not only on the personal page?
Randal Constant 21:21
Not only on the business side but also on the personal side. So the funny thing about it is now I'm spending more time on the business side, but the personal side is taken off like crazy. So you go figure, I don't know. When you start, like right now. I'm averaging right over 300 new followers a day. That's like 12. That's something like 11 or 12 an hour. Wait, so you go to bed, you wake up and you got a whole bunch of actual... No, no, no, here's the deal. You got to remember this. My 10,800 connections are the real deal. That's the guys that are well connected in the food business, or beverage business, all over the country. The way I set it up, 96.5% of my connections are us. Yeah. And the 3% are people that are usually content creators in another part of the world. We got some interesting content creators all over the world don't we?
Russ Johns 22:37
Oh, yes, we do. I know, quite a few as you live stream, and you and Calvin had been cranking it out for a while now. We've had several conversations going back and forth. Then testing and tracking on this live stream, building pages and things.You're much more in tune with the analytics, with shield analytics. What does it linkalyze and things like that. I have it and I've been running so hard that I don't pay as much attention to that. It seems like that's been really valuable for you. For those that are familiar with those platforms, I'd love to get your feedback,drop me a comment, share a thought or a suggestion or recommendation on how, how to improve on that. I mean, my trends, I keep looking at it, and the trends keep going up. Randal, I've been doing this for a year now. Over 250 episodes over the last year, I know it's more than that, but that's what I've captured on my website. So five days a week, every single day, very consistent. So it's just consistent growth over time, and you've been doing the same thing, you've been growing that and the more businesses you get in your product pages and your showcase pages and and vendors and manufacturers and food providers out there, it automatically just gives you more. The more you you share, the more you're seeing, right?
Randal Constant 24:17
The deal is number one, I'm consistent. Every day, right. I have him. I have multiple posts every day. I got the giveaways with Calvin. Right? So you know how some people say, well, LinkedIn is boring. We're not if you get free pizza. It's not too bad, you know? So the deal is, I tell you what, I'm getting ready to run out of electricity. So I'm gonna pass my cord over and I am saved. How about that? Yay. Oh, I'll fix that problem pretty quick. No, but the thing is, with the 9500 new followers, it's kind of hard. There's so many things going on his time, it's very, very hard to figure out what exactly is making it happen. So it's between being consistent being the fact that we're in COVID. People are more interested in food than ever. Right? Yeah. Food is definitely a very, very important category. Then the deal is with the company pages in the showcase pages, all that activity does that kick up the personal side? Any? I guess it does, right? Because if people see you on the company side, they've still got to wonder, well, who is this guy? Then you head up in the personal side.
Russ Johns 25:39
Well, it has a ripple effect, obviously, because your followers have increased over 9000 in the last month. So, there is a cause and effect there. So yeah, amazing. So what do you see? You mentioned that you're going to be starting to livestream on your business page now, are you gonna move over to your business page and continue to grow your business?
Randal Constant 26:02
I'm gonna continue posting on the personal side, but I'm gonna start working on the business side. But going from 64 followers in December to 2150. That's a lot of growth.
Russ Johns 26:16
That is a lot of growth.
Randal Constant 26:17
Because it's not as easy to do things on the company page as it is on the personal side.
Russ Johns 26:24
The benefit is you get to see who's following your page.
Randal Constant 26:27
Russ Johns 26:30
I was frustrated last night, I was trying to livestream on my business page, and I still don't have access. I've submitted, I did a screenshot, I applied Randal, like eight times already to get business page access, because what I want to do is I want to continue doing the #piratebbroadcast at 7am. Arizona time. Right?
Randal Constant 26:55
Russ Johns 26:56
Then, I want to do other shows and other opportunities. I was going to do an Ask me anything scheduled event, because I'm producing shows for other people now, and I want to be able to put that out there and schedule it. So I could promote it and send people to a page that they can go sign up for. I'm working on how do you create a link that people can go to, to sign up and actually attend an event and promoted in advance? That's the only way that I can see that you can do it on LinkedIn?
Randal Constant 27:37
Well, let tell you this. Have you done the LinkedIn event?
Russ Johns 27:43
Yeah, yeah, that's what I mean, I could do it from my personal profile page.
Randal Constant 27:48
No,no, no. But the thing is, when you do the LinkedIn event, it's not actually coming off of your personal or your business, it's actually, from what I understand, I may be wrong. But you're actually inviting all the people to your event, you're personally inviting. So like, in my case, if I do a LinkedIn event, I'm actually going to that event, I'm not going to the personal side, I'm not going to the business side. If I wanted to invite 100 people from the meat industry, 100 people from the deli industry 100 people from the transportation industry, I can I can invite 300 people. But I could still promote it on my personal page, and I could still promote it on my business page, and then promote it out on other social media, you could email it to your friends because you have the invite, that's the thing that you're talking about, the invite feature because it actually tells you exactly when it's going to be.
Russ Johns 27:48
Right. However, the caveat in the fine line that I'm working to produce, or the outcome that I'm attempting to produce is, I want if I have a virtual event that I'm going to be live streaming, and I want to livestream it from my business page, or promote it through my business page. I can actually attach that event, create that event, say, like, two months in advance or a month in advance, and I can start promoting that event on social. That way, they have a place to go to sign up. Then I can actually send notifications out that, yes, in fact, this is taking place.
Randal Constant 29:33
Right. Then you could have a conversation about it. Let's say you're gonna talk about five software programs related to the broadcasting industry or whatever, then you could actually put that in your thing in the beginning and people could actually have discussions about it before you even get to that event. But the thing is, they're still notified, they're still notified when the time comes. That event is getting ready to happen once you're in that. The good thing about the event is that all the people that actually go to that event you get to see who it is.
Russ Johns 30:09
Yeah. Well, I'm going to be experimenting with it a lot more because I think there's a lot of power there that we can actually accomplish and I've got some events that need to be live streamed. We'll continue to test it out. I'll let you know how that works out.
Randal Constant 30:26
Yeah, so it's just like if you're doing a deal with, for instance, pizza lovers or pizza lovers of America By the way, people love pizza. In the food business when you talk about pizza, ice cream, cheese cake, that's when you have everybody's interest. Especially Brenda, Brenda and Tina. They, love the dessert category. Brenda likes pie. So when I do things related to that, I usually send them a little heads up that, hey, I'm talking about cheesecake. So Tina, Tina really loves cheesecake. So it's always good to get engagement from outside the industry that you're in.
Russ Johns 31:17
Yeah, absolutely. Well, Randal, this has been fun. Reminder, if you follow Randal today, Calvin will pull your name from the hat and somebody is going to win some food directly from Texas, salsa, olive oil and what was the third one?
Randal Constant 31:40
Russ Johns 31:43
That's fantastic. Yeah, Randal, it's always a pleasure to catch up with you. Thank you for dropping by and taking time out and sharing with the Pirate community. Thanks for being a pirate man.
Randal Constant 31:55
Yeah, you and I definitely take advantage of that voice memo thing from LinkedIn. I'll send you the message and when you get to it, you answer it. We go back and forth, back and forth. I get a lot of your messages at like midnight. It's like, he probably thinks I'm sleeping already. But I'm not, you know. So it's a great way to communicate on LinkedIn.
Russ Johns 32:19
Really? Yeah, it is and I appreciate you and all the effort that you got into the food industry and anything we can do to help you grow. Love to learn more and help you out, alright?
Randal Constant 32:30
Thank you. Thank you. Appreciate it.
Russ Johns 32:32
Take care, Randal. And, as always, everyone, thank you so much for being part of the pirate community. If you're not connected with others in the group, others in the feed, other pirates out there, join the movement. Share a little kindness because #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree and you #enjoytheday. Take care, Randal.
Randal Constant 32:55
Russ Johns 32:56
Have a good one.
Randal Constant 32:57
I'll see ya.
Russ Johns 32:58
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