Hey! I'm A Small Business Owner Like You.
I'm Mike. And I run an online music education company for house music producers called ZERMELO.
I sell online courses that help producers make better songs -- and achieve their goals with music.
Creating and running a business can be an amazing thing -- it can lead to complete lifestyle independence.
But starting, running, and scaling a business can be an overwhelming experience. It certainly was and continues to be for me.
I built this site to share what has helped me along the way -- in the hopes that it will help you too.
I love to write and make videos, so there will be a mix of content. I'm not big on "general advice" -- I want to show you the real stuff. The nitty gritty. The raw execution.
I'll also provide links to products that I recommend. Most of these will be affiliate links for one reason: I actually use the products.
Follow along or not -- either way, I'll be here 🙂
Products That I Use And Recommend:
Tutorials are coming for each product...
This is my email service provider. It's what I use to run email sequences -- like sales promotions -- and broadcasts when I just want to reach out to my email list.
ConvertKit is made for creators. There's no nonsense built in. You have email sequences, broadcasts, forms, landing pages, tagging, and automation. Everything you need to successfully engage with and offer value to your audience.
Deadline Funnel lets you run authentic scarcity marketing campaigns. A scarcity marketing campaign is one that has a deadlines: "after X date, you can no longer buy."
It's important to be ethical here. When you say that the sale is over, it must be over. Otherwise you're manipulating people to buy, and that's wrong.
Deadline funnel is amazing because it automates everything for you.
For example, my New Years 2020 promotion was selling 3 different products, had three different sales pages, and 5 emails. With Deadline Funnel, I was able to create the campaign weeks in advanced -- knowing that when the deadline hit, Deadline Funnel would automatically prevent people from accessing the discounted offers.
For what it does, it's a steal. It basically pays for itself through one customer purchase -- yet it inspires many more purchases than that!
Web hosting is basically what lets you run your website. I'm sure you've heard of WordPress. Well, if WordPress is the software you use to run your computer, then web hosting is the computer. It processes all the requests and hosts all your data/media.
I don't know much about web hosting, and that's the point. I don't want to know about it. I just want to reliable web host so my site doesn't crash. And I haven't had any problems with A2.
There are some other cool things you can do with web hosting. For example, I can forward all emails from my business domain to my Gmail account. That's nice.Also, if I buy a domain for a product -- e.g., housemusicformula.com -- I can redirect that URL to a page on my actual site.
...looks better and is easier to remember than...
By the way, in addition to hosting domains, you can buy your domains from A2 as well. A2 also has 24 hour support.
Astra Theme is the theme I use for my website. It's clean and it's fast.
Usually when people think of themes, they think of how your website looks. But if you look at my website (zermelomusic.com) everything you actually see is built using Thrive Architect -- a Thrive Theme's product. We'll get to this in a second.
Astra Themes is the framework around what I build with Thrive Architect. It helps me easily customize pages and posts, override the WordPress defaults, and create my own defaults -- like fonts, colors, post/page layouts, etc.
Thrive Themes has a suite of products. And they're all great products. But the ones that I use the most are:
- Thrive Architect: This plugin is what I use to build all my sales pages with. It's amazing. I have full 100% control over the design of my website. I can make it look exactly the way I want -- down to the pixel.
- Thrives Leads: This plugin is what I use to collect emails. On my home page, I have an "opt-in" where people can download something for free in exchange for their email address. Once someone submits their email address, Thrive Leads sends it to ConvertKit.
Thrive Themes is responsible for the bulk of my business. It helps me create sales pages that I'm proud of and it helps me collect emails. And that's huge.
Kajabi is what I use to host my courses and handle the checkout process of my courses.
There are WordPress plugins that will let your set up courses. And I've tried some of them. But getting everything to sync and look professional is a nightmare.
The most important thing to me is customer experience. And Kajabi creates a gorgeous customer experience. The checkout process seamlessly connects customers to their products after a purchase.
Also, once inside the Kajabi platform, it's a beautiful experience for the customer -- right out of the box.
I heard somewhere that people go with Kajabi when it's time to get serious. And I couldn't agree more...
November 2018 was my first launch ever. And at the last minute, I decided to get Kajabi to host my courses and handle the ultimate checkout process -- because the last thing I wanted was to...
- Have problems with a checkout process, and
- Not deliver in a professional way after someone purchased a product.
And Kajabi helps me deliver and present my products in a professional, seamless, and reliable way. I made back my investment within the first hour of my launch.