LinkedIn in 15 Minutes PicThere are many ebooks, white papers, LinkedIn training programs and consultants that say a complete profile and 15 minutes a day can start getting you the connections you need to build profitable relationships. Notice the keyword there is “start”!

Business owners, sales executives and marketing professionals are being mistakenly misled in the amount of time, energy and focus they need to invest on marketing their organizations with LinkedIn. Because, they’re not putting in the “time” and because they’re failing to take a strategic lead generation approach, they respond to my polls with this answer: “I have many connections on LinkedIn but very few leads and sales.”

Let me show you the actions you should be taking on LinkedIn – and why you need to spend more than 15 to 30 minutes a day on the #1 B2B social media platform.

LinkedIn Action #1 – Targeted Lead Generation

Our new clients get a wide eye-opener when we work with them to identify key decision makers, organizational influencers and potential strategic alliance partners within their existing connections. In most cases only 10% to 15% of the connections have any value to our clients!

Using LinkedIn groups, you want to reach out to key decision makers and influencers within organizations that are in need of your solutions – and those that would resonate with your content. This means you must stop, lurk and do social listening before you reach out. Take the time to review LinkedIn profiles, websites and the discussions that your key decision makers are starting. This way, when you reach out to connect, you can give them a reason so compelling that they can’t ignore your request.

Now, this takes extra time but remember relevance is one of the big deciding factors on whether or not a decision maker will connect and start a business conversation with you.

LinkedIn Action #2 – Community Building

I can guarantee that most of your connections are what I call “dead connections.” These are connections that you have very little communication with as there was no initial interest.

You have to earn the right to having a “sales” conversation which means you need to educate prospects. That’s why once a connection is made, you need to invite prospects and influencers to your community. And, you need to have a drip email program in place that describes the discussions that are happening, so prospects will want to join the group and see your value.

LinkedIn Action #3 – Client Retention

2 Minute Explainer, a B2B video content creation firm, had no system in place to nourish relationships with existing clients. They relied on their amazing work to bring the clients back to them. We showed our client that you need to show BMC Software and others how they should be using animated videos throughout the complete sales, marketing and lead generation process. This way they’ll come back for more, sooner! As a result, our client just submitted a $36,000 proposal to an existing client that returned after our efforts.

LinkedIn Action #4 – Content Distribution

One of our clients, a CEO of a software firm for the recruiting industry, was wondering why their blog was generating very few LinkedIn leads. He was posting content at least 3 to 4 times per week.  But, he was using LinkedIn as a news release distribution service. He was failing to create relevant conversations for specific audiences and he was not providing upfront, standalone value.

Many of his posts were being thrown in the promotion tab where no one looks. And, for the groups that did not flag his content as “promotion”, he didn’t generate interest with a thought provocative discussion that leaves readers wanting more. You have to take the time and earn the right to have decision makers and influencers check out your articles, website, white papers, videos and presentations.

LinkedIn Action #5 – Group Engagement

You want to go for a 2-way interaction by engaging and interacting with key decision makers and influencers as people, one-on-one. This means you should be regularly responding to conversations that are happening in the different LinkedIn groups right now – and add your insights. One of our consultant clients, generated a lot of interest for his programs simply by “making waves” and commenting on other people’s business building strategies. He shared the flaws in the traditional marketing tactics they were using. Group members started asking our client what he’d do differently – and he’d provide bits of info at a time until the time was right to invite them to a free strategy session.

LinkedIn Action #6 – Lead Nourishment

When we first started offering LinkedIn services, we used to send “connect further” messages for a free strategy call or networking call seven days after a connection joined our clients’ groups. This generated some calls but many of the requests were ignored. We learned that most people on LinkedIn (75% – 80% or more) won’t be interested in buying your product or service the moment they meet you or join your group no matter how much value you provide.

There needs to be more nourishment, which means you need to provide your group members with a personalized experience and share specific content that’s geared to them. Pay close attention to the content they are liking, the discussions they’re commenting on and the resources they are opt-ing for on your website. This will give you a good idea of what additional articles, videos and case studies you should be providing them in a personalized message. Now, our clients are getting more scheduled appointments because of our “connection-focused” content strategy.

LinkedIn Action #7 – Media Relations

Because I’m building relationships with the media inside my own LinkedIn community and because I’m sharing my content (instead of focusing on content curation) and proving my thought leadership, I’ve been featured, interviewed or published by Forbes.com, Website Magazine, Online Marketing Institute, MarketingProfs. I’ve even been approached by LinkedIn to get featured in their upcoming ebook for B2B marketers.

Still think you can effectively use LinkedIn in just 15 to 30 minutes per day?

If you’re ready to take your LinkedIn efforts to the next level – and if you’re ready to learn how to build your funnel and actually influence business decisions using LinkedIn then grab my On-Demand LinkedIn Influence Training. The strategies I share with you will take you more than 15 to 30 minutes per day BUT it will help you seriously grow your business.