When people ask Randy Aimone what he does for a living, he sometimes answers: “mind control.”

He’s just playing around with them—sort of. “Some people call it marketing, but to me it’s simply mind control,” he said, “because what am I doing? I’m influencing people’s behavior and getting people to do what I’m wanting them to do.”

Aimone is imparting wisdom like that to Springboard students as a digital marketing mentor. He recently took some time to share lessons he’s learned throughout his career during Springboard’s May Digital Marketing Office Hour.

Among his tips:

Be Realistic

“Marketing is a team sport,” Aimone said.  “I see a lot of people… who pretend to be good at everything, they pretend to be good at SEO, they pretend to be good at PPC. But here’s the thing: you can’t be good at everything.”

Aimone suggests that people develop a diverse skill set, but limit their areas of true expertise to three. “If you have more than three, people aren’t going to believe you and you’re not gonna have time to actually be genuinely good,” he said. “If you choose three, you can be at the top of your field, people will believe you, and you’ll be able to use each one to complement the others, especially if you chose with some strategy in mind.”

Pay Attention to Your Persona

Aimone once worked with a father-daughter duo whose company focused on CRM systems. Thanks in large part to their blog, their website was receiving an incredible amount of traffic, but they were getting virtually no leads. By digging into Google Analytics, Aimone realized that the vast majority of the traffic was directed to the blog’s detailed how-to content, and coming from countries with large populations of virtual assistants. These visitors were never going to convert.

“Simply put, we were marketing to the wrong buyer persona,” he said. “So I often reinforce with my mentees, hey, pay attention to your persona… no matter what you do in marketing, how well you do it, if you do it to the wrong person, it’s probably not going to work.

Make Mistakes

“No matter what you do, you’re going to make mistakes,” he said. “And if you’re not making mistakes you’re not trying hard enough, you’re not pushing any boundaries, you’re keeping it safe. And at the end of the day, keeping it safe is one of the riskiest things you can do when it comes to marketing because it means you’re not learning, you’re not pushing the envelope.”

For more on Aimone’s fascinating career path and the lessons he’s learned along the way, watch the full conversation below:

Interested in starting or growing your digital marketing career with the support of a mentor? Check out our Digital Marketing Career Track—you’ll learn the skills and get the personalized guidance you need to land the job you want.