How the hell did I make 3 sales without zero marketing

So, I was planning to keep writing about my past experience with real estate and e-commerce and that’s still a plan. However.

Before you read any further. The title is not a click bait. The title is my honest frustration spiced up with excitement.

Let me jump over 6 months worth of stories and experience I want to share with you straight to this day. A brief overview of what you missed so far if you haven’t read the rest of this blog:

I realized that work is for fucking losers and decided to start hustling like big boys. My income from my day job lets me save up some cash here and there, so I started educating myself on hustling, business, real estate, and social media marketing. So far, I bought a sweet investment real estate and now generating some cash from my tenants that pays off my mortgage, while me, my wife and fuckload of animals live in an apartment upstairs, which I think drives my tenants crazy (if you read this by whatever reason – I’m REALLY sorry for that). Right after that, I found out about Amazon FBA and Shopify and started learning and investing there. Ordered a physical product manufactured for me, which is still out for delivery, but will be in Amazon warehouses, like today or tomorrow. 

So, after I ordered my Amazon items, I set back and decided to play around with Shopify just for fun. Long story short – I fucked up with 5 stores I opened, made 1 random sale and spent probably $2,000 on ads. I REALLY tried to learn this shit, but I am working in an advertising industry and my company is a pretty big marketing agency, so I realized that I probably won’t just jump on and be able to put $1 in and get $10 out. So I decided to hire a professional to take care of my marketing. I reached out to a good dude I found on Upwork and paid him $300/month to set up long-term email-based marketing campaigns on Facebook Ads and Google Adwords, we’ll see how it goes.

So now, there’s an interesting part

3 days ago I opened my 6th store. Technically it’s the same store domain and same IG and Facebook page that had some people going through. I started running FB Ads and Google Ads, but I stopped them after $10 because I didn’t want to go the same route as with other 5 stores. Instead of trying to sell random shit to random people, I just found an air humidifier on my wife’s desk, sourced it from AliExpress and built my whole store around that single product. 

And literally, 2 days after launching my new humidifiers store I made my first sale. No advertising, some rando just added it to a cart and left. And somehow, thanks to the crappy default Shopify auto-email I could recover that customer and made my 1st legit sale.

This was probably the most satisfying and the most frustrating experience I had in a while. Shortly after this, I made 2 more random sales. All coming from Instagram. Which I didn’t even think about as a legit source of sales. I mean, obviously, I know that Instagram is huge and influencers are hugely underpriced, which makes Instagram have the most potential. I just didn’t know it’s so powerful with a free traffic.

And this is fucking amazing. 

As I’m trying to have this blog as a template for young entrepreneurs (by experience, not age, I don’t give a fuck if you 83, as long as you can find value in my posts), I just want to share real quick my expectations vs reality from what I learned so far. I am sure I am still hella wrong about so many things and I can’t wait to make even more mistakes so I can learn from them and share my experience with you.

1. Make sure your product is good.

I’m not bullshitting. I tried selling crap. It doesn’t work this way. I think that that random crap is getting sold by absolutely outstanding marketers who know how to sell a dead horse to a plastic bag. But this is not a territory for me. Find a GOOD product, but a buzzing product. Find it and make it your only product, at least to begin with. Optimize all your store around that product. Pay for professional descriptions, SEO, photos, and videos. If you do it the right way – you are exposing yourself to a potential possibility of building the whole brand around it, start ordering it straight from a manufacturer, that’ll bring your costs even lower.

2. Be careful with paid ads

Unless you know HOW to spend money on ads – don’t spend too much. Obviously, you will want to play around with it. But think about this: do you want to be a marketing specialist or a business owner? Marketing skills can generate cash. Running a business will generate growth. From this day own, I won’t be putting even a dime into paid ads unless I know what I am doing. Until then – hiring a professional is my choice.

3. Do not forget that your customer is a key to a successful business

I just want to remind you that when you think about the customer first – your business will go on a much healthier path than when you think about yourself. Don’t sell shit to your buyers. Make sure you reply to EVERY SINGLE MESSAGE – emails, comments, DMs, every single one. If you have a lot – hire someone who will do it for you. But make you sure you don’t have a single unhappy customer. And when you do – make sure you do everything to fix YOUR fuckup.

That’s pretty much it for today.

Thank you for reading,


If you want more content like this to let me know in a comment section or on social media:

IG: @ian.dikhtiar

FB: @ian.dikhtiar

My Shopify Store: 

My other Shopify Store:

10 thoughts on “How the hell did I make 3 sales without zero marketing

      1. Hey there ! i’m ok . i do not have 2 on line stores like you but i do ok lol
        cool name clueless landlord but ur article is really great . i hope you have high sales this time of the year right ?


      2. Thanks! I don’t really care about sales. I’m here for the game, lol.
        On my day job, I currently make much more money than I would ever need, so money is probably my last motivation. How is it doing for you, by the way? I bet you do affiliate marketing. Is holiday season usually better or worse for you from an income standpoint?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. it was a joke as when we talked last time …i was giving you advices about ecommerce and you….already had 2 on line stores . felt stupid when i saw that bcoz you most probably knew all about it and all my articles were daily topics for you 😉


      4. Oh, man, I’m all ears for any advice. I’ve been doing Shopify for maybe 3-4 weeks now, so 2 stores don’t actually mean anything (at this point I can literally spin up a store with some items within 2-3 hours). But I’m learning from blogs like yours! Basically, blogs like yours are what motivated me to open mine, because if you can provide such an incredible value – maybe one day I’ll be too.


      5. i’m glad you found it usefull Ian . my site also has a search incorporated so , when you want to read about a specific topic , just search it . i didn’t arrange the articles because i tryed first to generate as much traffic as posible . usually you do not open a blog and just write with no followers but first you find a group of followers, see what topic are they interested in and “serve” them the articles in the simplest way posible.with no big words so that even the beginers can understand
        you will do great with ur shopify . i saw it and all it needs is to invest in makeing it visible but, of course, that depends on your intentions. hoestly , even if you say that now you make more money than needed , if i were you , i would just open a savings account in the bank and let the income there . in any business, you can never know what tomorow brings Ian ….


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