Episode 68: How to Network Your Way to Success with Joanne Weiland

October 26, 2020

In this episode, Joanne shared why joint venturing and collaboration are so important and how Link to Expert can help busy professionals connect without spending hours to do it, the power of masterminding and repurposing and how to pivot if you aren’t happy where you are right now, or if you’ve lost your livelihood from Covid.

Resources mentioned 

Link to Expert 

3 Key Points

Don’t get frustrated, don’t give up, just do something different, mastermind, pivot.

It doesn’t matter how many things we talk about. It matters how many things we implement and working with others can help us to implement more.

Good enough is good enough-get something done and forget about trying to be perfect.


Hi, and welcome to Episode 68.  Today my guest is Joanne Weiland. Joanne created a portal to make expert connections that count, mastermind with other experts, create joint ventures, (and) bundle your products and services to expand your reach and reputation. Now you can find an expert, review their credentials and hire them in minutes. Designed for entrepreneurs, executives, event professionals, and the media to collaborate with ease. So, welcome to the call. Joanne.

Joanne: Thank you, Ellen.

Ellen: It’s so nice to have you. We’ve been friendly for a long time. Yes. And you are the creator of Link To Expert and I am a member. So, why don’t we start with, how did you decide to do this? Like how did you get to this point?

Joanne: Well, before I did this, I started this in 2002. But before that, for twenty years, I traveled. I worked with business owners all over the country because back then, Ellen, you did face to face. You actually flew there and visited these people. So, I traveled over a million miles meeting with business owners for twenty years and long story short, most of them had incredible ideas, but only about 5% of them implemented their ideas.

So, I was curious why, , the others didn’t and why the 5% did. So to shorten it, the 5% that did hire an expert like you, to help them, for example, write their book,  and I wanted to know why the other 95% didn’t. And so, what I found is most of them worked in their business, not on their business. And most of them also maybe did go to a networking meeting a month, like maybe a chamber meeting once a month, but they sat with the same five people, so they really didn’t know people like you, they didn’t know what was out there available cause they were so, again, busy working in their business and just always kind of frantic and busy.

Ellen: Right.

[02:54]: So I thought, “Well, isn’t there a resource out there for the people could find different experts like you?” and I couldn’t find one. And my original mentor is Norman Vincent Peele. And he always said, “If you find a need, fill it.” And I thought, “Oh, I found a need. I guess I should do what he’s always told me.” And so, that’s when I created ways you can find an expert and be able to get to connect with them, work with them.

And it still was a long process because of the fact that almost every time I had to go to a board meeting or a committee and suggest to the board or the committee different experts that would be the bright candidates for their projects. But Ellen, they would still take months because everybody wanted to know something different about Ellen versus Harry.

[03:42] And then, I’d have to get your book and send it to Harry. And it was just a long process. And most of the time too, we really didn’t get the deal because it took so long that another project took precedence over it, or they lost the budget for it, or whatever. So, I knew we had to come up with a way that they could find the expert, check out all their credentials of all the things they always ask from at the board meetings and the committee meetings, and then be able to talk to that person, and then hire them.

And now we can do that in minutes with Link To Experts platform that we created in 2007, just for that reason, so that we can not just help the person that’s hiring them, but even the person that’s trying to get hired-that was a lot of a waste of time for them to go through that whole process for months, sometimes fly out to see them and meet with them.

[04:36]: And that time and expense, sometimes, there’s two or three days. So this way, they can actually check them out online. They can see everything about them, everybody that’s on the committee or the board can look at all the things that’s important to them because they all asked me so many different questions about what made that person the expert. And so, I kept track of them. And so, in everybody’s, including your website on Linked To Expert, it has all that information that can be filled in. So, all the people that are wanting to hire them can answer, look at those types of information that’s important to them to give the thumbs up or thumbs down to hire you right away

[05:20] Ellen: That it does have, I will say it’s very comprehensive. There’s so many things you can do there. Why don’t you talk about that?

[05:28] Joanne: Well, the reason that there’s so many things to do there, you don’t have to fill them all out as you know, but the more you do, the more the people that’s important too well is track them. So, one of the things that people always asked for, especially if they’re a published author, so I always recommend that you put your books and stuff on there-that gives you immediate credibility. If anybody knows, you know that Ellen.

Ellen: Right, right.

Joanne:  As soon as a published author, it’s like, “Whoa, you know?” And so, I recommend that you put that in your Link To Expert platform, as well as other many other places. I don’t mean that we’re the end all, but we just have a unique way to be able to distribute your information. So like, when you do have a new book, a new blog, a new article, a new interview like this on your show that you can upload it.

[06:20]: And then, we distributed for you to tens of thousands of people, because that was the other thing that people, that are the expert, don’t always have the time to do all this marketing. So we wanted it to be all automated, so that you just had to take five minutes, meaning the member upload something new and answer just the questions in the template, so you don’t have to recreate it either every time, so it takes less than five minutes to do that, and then, we distributed in an email blast first, and then in a newsletter that goes out twice a month. We also put it on all the social media, so Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and we often get it in other people’s publications and stuff like that. So, we really often reach hundreds of thousands of people with your one blog or your one article. And we do it for you. You don’t have to do it.

[07:16] Ellen: Yeah. That’s great. That’s really the great part is so many people don’t want to do it themselves or don’t have the time to do it themselves.

[07:24] Joanne: Well, there’s in the connections, cause a lot of people don’t realize it, but they have like a hundred or even maybe a thousand contacts. But together that’s how we literally reached like last week I reached 50,000 people with one email. So, just to give you an idea.

[07:41] Ellen: Right? And that’s the power of using a third-party site, like what you have for list building. And also what I always recommend that, well, like one of the reasons that I tell people to do a number-one bestseller launch is that they’re all these announcements sites that have grown up that will announce it for you. And so it’s the same thing. It’s like your leveraging other people’s lists. And that is so powerful, especially when you’re new. I mean, when you don’t have a reach at all, when you don’t have a community, it doesn’t mean that you have to take months and years to get going. Take advantage of these kinds of situations where you can get going really fast because you’re leveraging other people’s lists.

[08:26] Well, and the other thing that people like in our case that they don’t realize is like, when I worked with those executives and to this day, when I still work with them, they all have different problems, different challenges, different needs almost every week. It’s not like they need the same type of expert. So, the people that are trying to hire you have different needs. So, that’s one of the reasons our unique database exchange is so important because they might not need what I do this week, but they might need what Ellen does, you see what I mean? And that’s why exposing you to others, it’s always good because of the fact that they all need different things at different times. So, and a lot of times, again, they don’t even know that there’s people like you out there that can help them write a book. It sounds silly, but that’s not in there.

[09:14] Ellen: Right, right, yeah. Or, they just need somebody who wrote a book and they go, “Tell me how you did it.”

Joanne: Right.

Ellen: And, they don’t really know much yet. You know? I mean, when I started, that was okay because nobody was doing that. Nobody was doing what I was doing. So the information I had was more than what anybody else had, pretty much, but now it’s like, there are experts like myself, who’ve been around for years who know a lot more than somebody just starting, and yet people will still do that. And that can be frustrating at times because then, it won’t come out right and then, they’ll come to me and go, “How come this didn’t work?” And I’m like, “Cause you didn’t go to an expert.”

[09:52] Joanne: Right.

Ellen: And people try to do everything, so…

Joanne:  Well, that is the bad part about that when people try to do it themselves, what you just said as well as I always feel like it looks like, in my case, just for an example, I thought I’ll take a class to learn how to create a website when I wanted to do what we just talked about. Well,  I did create one Ellen, after going to USF for the course, but it looked like a second grader wrote it. So, who would want to put that website in front of people that I’m trying to impress, just as an example. So, why would somebody want to write their own book instead of working with you that can look like a professional book?

[10:33] Ellen: One only wonders. There’s something else that you do that I really like. And that is that you do these networking calls. And I think that’s really great because there are networking groups and you have to pay a lot of money just for that. And what I love is that here you’re getting all that exposure, but you also get the networking. And I will say, it’s really a shame that more people don’t take advantage of. I mean, the groups tend to be small and that’s in my opinion, ends up being really good because I’ve made some really good, deeper connections, and we even have something that may turn into a joint venture.

[11:21] Joanne: Oh, wonderful. Well, that’s always our goal is each other, gets the members get to know each other and can collaborate. We had one deal that we’d only nine of them actually were hired by one company to be able to do one project in also that happens and I’m glad you said that because just seriously, masterminding is my favorite sport.

Ellen: Napoleon Hill, yeah.

Joanne:  Yeah. I’ve learned it from him, but I actually was in a part of several mastermind groups. And of course, one of them was when I created Link To Experts. So, they would keep me accountable every month.  And I would have new ideas, and then somebody would call me every week because we met once a month to make sure I did the things I agreed to do.

Ellen:  That you said you were going to do.

Joanne: But mine was a little more strict that I did.

[12:16] Ours is a little bit more, free, open to do, but it’s mainly designed so that each other knows what each other does, because so many times, just like you just said about doing the joint venture, you guys all do different things that you can help each other and support each other and recommend each other or work on the same project together. And that’s what it’s really meant for. So,  thank you ‘cause I really do believe that is so important and you were saying earlier, too, before we got on the actual call, how people do so many things that we don’t know, or that was one of the real other things behind all of this that you can actually have on Linked To Expert, all your radio interviews, all your podcast, interviews, all your Internet, your TV show, interviews, all your articles, blogs.

[13:07] We have some people that literally have hundreds and hundreds of videos or video blogs because of the fact that different people will want to hear about what you’re doing or watch what you’re doing. And they might have, you know, want to know about it for different subjects. So, they can actually just pick a subject that they want and listen to that particular interview that you talked about that particular topic, because that’s what’s important to them in their business right now.

So. we always have to think of what’s important to the client and what’s important to the expert, but both times we always try to make it in one word, easy, easy for you, the expert to expose yourself as well as the client, easy for them to find out about you and be able to hire you right away. Because I feel like if you do anything that takes too much time or too much effort, people just give up.

Ellen: Absolutely, I was just going to say that. Yeah, Yeah. It has to be easy, has to be easy, but I want to talk a little bit about joint ventures because I really think people don’t get it. Most people, they really don’t understand the power of joint venturing. When I started my business that was how I got it off the ground-was joint venturing.

And I’m a client of Jeff Walker’s, you know, and his thing is Product Launch Formula. And he’s got this thing that he calls the “Circle of Awesome”. And the “Circle of Awesome” is that when you start out, you have to create a program which he calls your “Seed Launch”, and then you do an “Internal Launch” to see how it’s working and to get feedback, which is with your list generally. And then, how do you get beyond that? Well, the easiest way is with joint ventures. And then, what happens is each time you do it, the list gets bigger and bigger because you’re not just using your list, you’re using these other people’s lists again. It always comes back to other people’s lists, you know, or in your case, your list. So…

[15:16] Joanne: Ours is under some people’s lists together.

Ellen: Right. Hundreds of people’s lists together. And that’s how, yeah. And when I said the “Circle of Awesome”, because each time you then do another program or another launch or whatever, it just keeps growing bigger and bigger. And so, when people say, “Well, I don’t have any money or you can’t grow unless you have Facebook ads, it’s just not true. It’s not true. You don’t need to do ads.

As you know, can get you there faster if you know what you’re doing sometimes, but also the close rate on ads is a lot smaller than when you’ve got communities of people that already have the know, like, and trust factor. So, when you join venture with other people, they already have a relationship with their community. They already have that. So, you’ve got yours with your community. They’ve got theirs with theirs. And what they’re doing is giving third-party proof that you’re great.

Joanne: Right.

Ellen:  And it’s the same thing with Linked To Expert, cause you’re basically saying these people are great or they wouldn’t be here.

[16:16] Joanne: But, the other thing is that we forget that it’s not just me and it’s never been about me. Like if an email blast goes out about you, Ellen, for example, three other people are always mentioned. So, they’re seeing it from Ellen, and they’re seeing that you’re not endorsed, but at least support these other three people, every single email that goes out.

If you have a thousand people in your database, a thousand emails go out to one to each of those people, there’s always three different people mentioned. And the reason that’s important, because that way we all get exposed to each other’s context, unless you’re a competitor, then our algorithm actually…

Ellen: Won’t put you in the same one?

Joanne:  Right. And so,  that’s really the power of it. And then, as you know, every two weeks, the newsletters go out, and it goes to everybody’s contacts about everything that happened in the last two weeks that people did.

[17:12]: So, you know, like I love to see yours or you do one for you, but then you put it on like to expert and because that’s the other thing that people don’t realize they might think, why would you want to send it out again? Well, the reason you would, do you really think everybody reads every single thing you send?

Ellen: No.

Joanne:  but they see it twice. Maybe they’ll see it again. Or,  they had more time to see it or read it that day. And so, why do you think advertisers do redundancy? They tell us and tell us again, tell us again and tell us again. So,  we really need to stay in front of people with that. I would say the same type of message, but sometimes in different formats.

Ellen: Right.

Joanne:  In video, in written form, sometimes like with us, we send out a press release every single month because we know a lot of the Boomers that we support and they use our services, they believe it, if it comes over the business wire. But then we take it after we had the press release and we put, you know, convert it to a blog format because then there’s a lot of other people that would rather read the blog than the press release.

[18:21]: And you know, and then I do things like this beyond somebody, like your show and talk about the same type of topic, but it’s just that we have it in different place, ways that they can listen to or watch or read in whatever format is.

Ellen: Right. And Joanne just gave you some really great advice of the different ways to repurpose your content.

[18:45]: You should always repurpose it because you really don’t realize it, but different people will receive it in different ways. One time I wrote a blog and I only had 333 hits and I wondered what is going on. So, I changed up the title to two words, “Why you?” I changed the verbiage a little bit. And before I knew it, I had 10,000 people read that blog.

Ellen: Wow.

Joanne: And so, I’ve learned also from that just as one example, but when people read us a shorter title, I think they think the blog is shorter and they think they have time to read it.

Ellen: Oh, oh.

Joanne: That was my take on that, so now I try to make shorter titles all the time, and they do get more people reading them just because I guess they just judge the length of whatever they’re going to read by the title.

[19:37] Ellen: Well, let me tell people there’s also a website it’s called coschedule.com/headline-analyzer And that’s coschedule.com forward slash headline dash analyzer. It’s free. And you put your headline in there and it gives you a rating.

Joanne: Oh yes. I’ve used something like that.

Ellen: Yeah. And it’s really great. I mean, I use it a lot. Yeah.

Joanne: Is it the one that has the emotional rating?

[20:07] Ellen: Yeah. It has all of them. Yeah. Yeah. It hits all the different things. Is it generic? Is it unique? Is it like you said emotional? Is it negative? Is it positive? I mean, it goes through a whole a bunch of things.

Joanne:  And it’s interesting ‘cause sometimes, I’ll think that it’s really a winner, and then other ones that I think are just okay, they’re like, you know,

Ellen: Right, exactly, exactly. That’s why I use it because sometimes I’m surprised. Yeah. I thought that was going to be a good one. Right.

[20:40] Ellen: And occasionally, I can’t quite get it to work. Like the other thing that I use is Funnel Scripts. Funnel Scripts is great. Like if you’re stuck trying to come up with something or you need like a prompt, I’ll put the information in there and it’ll bring up a whole bunch of titles. And one of the things that’s really cool about that, sometimes it doesn’t get it right.

Sometimes, I can massage it a little then it’s right. But sometimes, it also gives me ideas for other content that I hadn’t thought of.  It just focuses it a different way, but yeah. So, between those two things, if I can’t do it on my own, if it’s not coming, then those are my two go-to’s and I can put the Funnel Scripts- I have an affiliate link to that. If people want to go through me on that, I can help them get set up. So yeah. So, what else?

[21:40] Joanne: Well, I think we should talk about pivoting just because right now that seems to be a really hot topic. And I think a lot of people don’t realize how valuable that really is to take it seriously, because I think a lot of people keep thinking, they’re just things that are going to go back to normal or what they call them all from, you know, before COVID. And I just want to encourage people- don’t wait because it’s never going to go back to the way it was. It’s never going to be that way. And the only thing consistent in this world is change. So, this is just part of it. And I feel like it’s kind of helping us do what we really love. Like you said earlier in my bio that I do believe people should do what they love and love what they do.

[22:27] My hope with all this that’s going on is that people do really take time to check. “What do I really want to do?” Maybe they lost their job and they’re sad, and I’m not saying that’s not sad. I’m just saying maybe that wasn’t what they were meant to do anyway. Maybe they didn’t really enjoy it. Maybe they should take some of these assessments that are out there to find out what they really want to do next. And to really take this time to figure out what is valuable to them. And even these business owners that have a business, but it’s shifting and changing.

We all know so many of them are to pivot and do think of something, maybe hire a coach or consultant to help them figure out like what can they do differently with what they’ve been doing, with what equipment they already have, with what type of employees they out and did pivot to do something that they can still thrive and survive through these times with stuff they already have, instead of giving up, because there really is sometimes just somebody else needs to, like you were just describing with some of the titles and stuff, but sometimes our businesses as well, we just need to talk to somebody else because we’re so used to, it’s like a habit in our head that we just keep thinking the same thing. And that’s why masterminding is my favorite sport because people will say, “Well, what about that? Well, did you ever try that?” So, maybe even joining a mastermind group or also,

[24:01] Ellen: Yeah, but it’s also amazing that things that I tell my clients sometimes I can’t see for myself. Oh, well, I mean, yeah.

Joanne: You have quality coaches.

Joanne: Yes, exactly. I’ve had dozens of coaches over my lifetime and because I can learn from them so much because I don’t see what they see and they don’t see what I see. That’s what the power of collaboration really is. And that’s why I just encourage people, don’t get frustrated, don’t give up, just do something different.

And sometimes, even just taking time to go for a walk every day or whatever it is that you can clear your head and you can even think differently. But I really do encourage you to talk with other people about your business, or your career, or what you want to do, because it’s not going to change if you keep doing what you’ve always done.

[24:55] Ellen: Yeah. I take people through a series of exercises in my 7 Day Book Writing Boot Camp, where before we write the book, I really make them look at their passion and their skill set and where they overlap with what the market wants because that really is how you get successful.

Joanne:  Yes.

Ellen: You know, I was just talking to a friend of mine the other day and he had a recording studio for years and he was telling me how it was always filled and then, the record industry changed in a huge way with digital, and the young artists and new artists couldn’t get any financing. And so, he was literally out of business, and he got into health and wellness, and he said, “You know, Boomers, everybody’s getting older that was even long before he was in on before COVID. But, he found something else that he could get excited about where he saw there was a market for it. And that’s really, the important thing is, you can love something, but there also has to be a market for it. Otherwise, you’re just going to starve, or you have to figure out how to make a market out of it-one of the two.

[26:09] Joanne: Right. Good point. Yeah. That’s a very good point. Yeah. It’s true.

Ellen: But I’m telling you, I’m so grateful that I’ve been online for sixteen years. Like this isn’t anything new. I mean, to get thrown into this, I had a client who literally overnight, had to switch her business from offline to online, you know?

[26:29] Joanne: I know. You and I have been blessed that we’ve done this so long.

Ellen: Yeah, because she could do that. Not everybody can do that. Like, restaurants and things like that. But, if you can,  then yeah, go for it. But there are a lot of things that really you can do online that you did offline. It’s just people don’t realize it.

[26:51] Joanne: Right. Exactly. But that’s why, again, talk to different people, get different ideas, take different courses like you and I were talking about earlier, before the call. There’s so many things online now that you can take, or do to figure a lot of this out or just like what I did when I was in my forties, I started taking all those tests of what do you want to be when you grow up? So, I would take those personality tests. ‘Cause like you just explain that you did for your client, find out what your passion is too. ‘Cause like me, I never feel like I’m working. I do what I love and love what I do when I connect people that just makes my heart sing. So, when you do what you love, your life just is so much easier and so much better.

Ellen: Definitely.

Joanne: Then doing something you’re frustrated with.

[27:41] Ellen: So, you have any final tips before we go?

Joanne: I would actually recommend that people do things with other people like we’ve been talking about, but I mean, not even just talk about them, but then take action and actually put something together of what you discussed and put an action plan together because I really believe it doesn’t matter how many things we talk about. It matters how many things we implement.

So if they then we’ll put a plan together and, and have a deadline that wouldn’t, they wanted to create that maybe there’s a book and they call you and they work, you know, each on their own book, but they have kind of that comradery of knowing that they’re both finishing this book. I mean, just this morning, I talked to a gentleman that little Lee that I know for years that he’s been trying to finish his book for years.

Ellen: I know lots of people like that.

Joanne: I would like them to finish something before the end of the year and just do it and even, if it’s not perfect, I have to always remind myself good enough is good enough because otherwise, you’ll never get to finish it so…

Ellen: Absolutely.

Joanne: To finish some of their projects and it makes you feel so good. So…

[29:04]: Okay. Well, how can people reach you?

Linked To Expert is www.L I N K-T O-E X P E R T.com. And how did you hear us? Tell us it was from Ellen and so we encourage that info at link text, but if you want to email us and our phone number is (727) 791-7338. That’s (727) 791-7338. And I appreciate you having me on Ellen. Thanks for the opportunity. You’ve been a member for years and we appreciate you, and thank you for getting the news out.

Ellen: Ah, thank you. You do a great job and you’re always getting on me, “Put up more stuff, put up our stuff.” So, that’s it for today to get the transcript, go to www.booksbusinessabundance.com/podcast. You’re also welcome to join our Facebook group. That link is at the bottom of the podcast page and in the group, you’ll get first notice of new podcast, the opportunity to ask questions of guests. If you have any network plus take advantage of marketing opportunities and occasional book giveaways. And that link is again at actually it’s https://books businessabundance.com/podcast.

And while you’re there, be sure to grab a copy of Book Planning Secrets, A Simple 4-Step Guide to Writing a Bestseller. If you’d like to write your own book or if you’re already writing books, but you’d like to write them faster with more ease. So, till next time. Bye-bye.

Joanne: Thank you.

Ellen: You’re welcome.


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About the Author

Ellen Violette

Ellen is an 3X award-winning book, including being named one of the Top 20 Book Coaches of 2022 by Coach Foundation. She's also a multiple #1 bestselling author, a 3-time eLit award winner, podcast host, and a Grammy-nominated songwriter. She has been helping entrepreneurs increase their credibility and expert status, become #1 bestselling authors, and make a bigger impact in the world since 2004. Her mission is to make the world a better place one author and one book at a time!



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