From prosecutor to popsicle peddler

What turns a prosecutor into a popsicle peddler? According to Nick Carse (@ncarse), Co-Founder of King of Pops, it’s rum and a summer trip with his anthropologist brother.

As the three brothers traveled through Central America, they watched as locals used left over fruit from the markets before they ruined. These Mexican frozen treats were called paletas. When the recession of 2009 hit, the brothers turned their rum inspired dream into a reality.

“My brother Steven was laid off when the recession hit,” Nick said. “Initially we thought maybe it’d pay for a summer full of burritos. That was in 2010. Neither of us have any culinary background. We didn’t have a business plan. We didn’t have funding. What we did have was folks with a couch in the basement. We knew if it failed they’d let us sleep there.”

Nick hung up his suit, left the Gwinnett County courtroom and joined his brother just a few months later.

“I was in a profession that wasn’t very uplifting,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong. It’s something that’s needed and it can be rewarding. My dad wrote me a letter about all the reasons I needed to reconsider, but it was too late, I’d already quit. It’s funny because it’s truly a family operation now. My dad is our marketing guy and our mom makes sure our AR is okay. She’s a mean bitch…I mean a nice bitch, but she makes sure her boys get paid.”

Nick Crase, Co-founder of King of Pops, shared how he, and his brother, have created a business centered around UMoHs.

What they did have was the same thing we all have, a desire and a dream.

“We say the good ole day is today,” Nick said. “Every day is an opportunity to do something and make a change.”

They’ve created a culture centered around Unexpected Moments of Happiness-or UMoHs.

From their hiring philosophy to giving back to the community, King of Pops isn’t focused on gaining customers, rather creating fans. It’s not about doing something fancy, it’s about doing something special.

“It’s about the experience,” Nick said. “When we hire someone, we look for someone who will laugh and share a joke and make the interaction with our guest a great guest experience.”

So how did these brothers make their dream a reality?

Nick shared their flavorful roadmap to success:

First, set a date. It’s important to give yourself a set time in life when you are going to do something. The brothers launched their business on April 1, yes, April Fools Day, with a freezer cart they bought off Craig’s List. Most people thought it was a joke. Even the rest of the family thought they were bananas. Now the brothers have carts in over 300 locations across the Southeast.

Secondly, embrace the unknown. Nick says most people (aka everybody) don’t know what they are doing either.

Third, you’ve got to rely on people. It’s okay not to know everything. Just find folks who know what you don’t.

Keep growing. Nick said “if you aren’t growing, you’re dying.”

The brothers have taken this to heart. They’ve branched out to King of Pups (all natural dog treats), Tree Elves (a Christmas tree company that allows them to keep their employees on over the winter months), and King of Crops (a farm where they are growing a lot of the ingredients that go in their pops).

Fifth, create a culture uniquely yours. Don’t just exist. Know who we are and create a vision that gets you where you want to be.

“We spent a lot of time recently mapping out our vision,” Nick said. “We’ve been asked to come other places, but we are committed to staying in the south. We’re passionate about supporting the community and of course we have our Unexpected Moments of Happiness. And we do it all while having fun.”

The UMoHs has led to the creation of many events and moments, like yoga on the beltline. It’s about moments with community, family and friends.It’s about getting people to engage with each other.

Whether you love Pops or not, you can’t knock their philosophy and the success they are having building a brand based on happiness, love and community.

P.S. I had my first King of Pops today. I’m gonna need more salted chocolate in my life!

What’s in it for me?

fraction of selection model schramm

I read the latest newsletter from Ann Wylie this morning. (If you aren’t familiar with her, you need to be – check out her site.)  In our daily life, messages and information bombard us constantly. As communicators, our goal is to get our message heard, and remembered. Ann shared Wilbur Schramm’s Fraction of Selection model.

He says readers make the choice on diving into our information by asking themselves: “What will I get out of this?” and “What do I have to put into it?”

According to Ann, this means the harder it is for someone to understand your writing, the less likely they are going to spend time reading it. You’ve also got to give them a reward for investing their time with you.

What’s a reward for reading? It’s you, delivering information to makes the reader’s life better or it’s entertaining to them.  It’s even better if you can do both at the same time. I’ve been trying personally to be more intentional with this in my own writing. It really makes you think about the concepts and ideas you are putting on the page. Will someone benefit from the idea? Will it help them achieve a goal? Will it make things easier? If I can’t say yes to those questions when I write, it’s time to delete and try again.

Professionally, I’ve been incorporating more video into our communications. I think this medium allows us as communicators to hit that target easier. People are relying on their phones and tablets more and more to get and retrieve information. Using video allows us to tell stories not only with our words, but with visual images that capture the attention as well.

Being strategic with our storytelling is vital. According to Hubspot  information paired with a relevant image is retained longer by the viewer than those reading the information without one. Hubspot also noted in 2017,  74% of all internet traffic consists of video content. Just using the word video in your email marketing increases the chance someone will open the message.

Schramm’s communication model is even more effective in today’s digital world. As we compete against more and more messages, it’s up to us to create content that provides our followers, readers, and viewers with something real and relevant. Using video is a great way to get noticed. The “what’s in it for me” messaging is key to getting heard and remembered. By pairing the right visual, with information showing real benefit, we’re increasing our chance of successfully delivering a message creates action.

Brand You

Brand You

Your brand reflects your personality and the services that you offer to your clients. It’s the first impression someone has of you. The right brand will draw clients to you. Crafting an irresistible brand takes time and thought.

Think about your unique style and personality. What are your personal values? Do you have a particular style? What is your personality like? How do you want others to perceive you? In blunter terms, I urge you to be the polka dot bra in the sea of beige. Your brand must ignite and excite your potential clients. You have one shot to make that first impression.

Put some serious thought into who your ideal client is. Make sure your brand appeals to their needs and shows them that you are the answer to all their needs. They will make assumptions based on your marketing materials.

Be clear on what you can offer. Make sure you aren’t promising something that you can’t deliver.

Make sure everything you put out for public consumption reflects you. Your website, social presence, newsletters – everything reflects your brand. Develop images and color pallets and stick to them. All of this contributes to the consistency of your message.

Your brand not only represents where you are now, it also gives people a vision of the future. If they stick with you, it assures them they will be getting consistent now and down the road.