065: How To Become A Social Media Strategist (Justin Wise)

Justin Wise

If you’re like most people you’ve gone down a path because it seemed like the right one for you and other people told you were you good at it.

But what if you found that path really wasn’t a great fit after all? How could you pursue another path? Here to tell us is our guest for today’s episode, Justin Wise.

Justin is a social media strategist who teaches organizations and individuals how to build their online communities and influence them to take action.

Join us as Justin explains how he pursued one path, then another and yet another til he landed in social media. All of that and more on the 65th edition of How’d You Get Into That?.


Growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, Justin was interested in all things media from an early age. He spent his high school and college years working in and learning the radio business, where both schools had a local radio station in which students could learn the trade. He enjoyed radio, and others told him he was good at it, so he pursued that path.

His dad was in commercial banking, and at the age of 50 (Justin was 25) he quit and went back to school to become an elementary school teacher. While Justin was pursuing radio, he really had no idea what he wanted to do yet. He thought if his dad could make such a drastic change at 50 with all his responsibilities, then surely he could take chances in his own career.

Through his high school years he had a house painting business with a couple of friends. He made enough money during the summer so he didn’t have to work during the school year. This type of non-traditional work schedule, he says, is what really set the stage for his future entrepreneurial aspirations. Justin came to enjoy the freedom it gave him, and liked calling his own shots.


  • How to gain clarity on what you want to do.
  • How Justin’s period of dissolution set the stage for his success.
  • Why it’s important to have people in your life who keep you accountable.
  • What is the single most important asset Justin used to build his company?
  • Why your “big idea” is key to an effective social media strategy.
  • And so much more!

During his senior year at the University of Northern Iowa, Justin did an internship for a production studio in Los Angeles. This experience really opened his eyes to a totally different world, a world he wasn’t sure he wanted to be part of now. People were working 16-17 hour days, sleeping in their offices…they had no life! He took on another internship, which only confirmed he did not want to go the traditional media route with his career.

Seeing what it meant for him long term, he saw his grand plan going up in flames and he entered what he calls the “Dark Ages.” He stumbled around for a while until he decided to go into ministry.

During his time as a pastor, Justin took jobs to make ends meet. He was interested in social media, and started doing side jobs for other churches helping them develop their online presence. He really enjoyed this work and that’s when it hit him. He could totally do this full-time!

It took him a good five years to go full-time, but he says he really needed those years to learn and make the transition. He relied on his wife to be a reality check for him, and he relied on his friends to hold up the mirror and show him where his strengths truly reside. But it was well worth it in the end, and he’s grateful for all of his experiences!

Please join me in thanking Justin for sharing his personal journey, his insights and knowledge biscuits with us today. Thanks for being here and we’ll see you next time!

Tweetable: “Social media is a two-way street.” Justin Wise


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