There 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 leaders, sales executives and marketing professionals are being misled about 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 and lead engagement approach, many they tell me their biggest LinkedIn problem is having many connections but very few leads and sales.

Let me show you the actions you should be taking on LinkedIn – and you’ll see 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 partners within their existing connections. In most cases only 10% to 15% of the connections have any marketing value to our clients!There is much work to be done to build a valuable network.

You can use LinkedIn groups to establish relationships with key decision makers and influencers within organizations that are in need of your solutions – and those that would resonate with your content. But to be effective,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. 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 have a “sales” conversation, which means you need to educate prospects. That’s why once a connection is estabished, you have to keep the connection alive.

One of the best ways to do this is to build your own community – a custom LinkedIn group -and then invite potential buyers and influencers to your community. You’ll need to have a drip message program in place that describes the discussions that are happening so prospects will see your value and want to join the group and get to know you better.

LinkedIn Action #3 – Non-Automated Content Distribution

By sharing relevant content (in up to 50 different LinkedIn groups) where our clients’ targeted audiences belong, our clients are experiencing 15% to 30% increases in website and blog traffic. Now, when I talk about content distribution, I do not mean simply pressing the LinkedIn share button on your blog and posting the link to your update and all of your LinkedIn groups. I do not mean just adding the link to an auto-posting software and broadcasting the link as-is. You’ll have zero engagement.

It takes more time to craft individual discussions around your content and personalize them according to the groups, but it’s the only way to break through the ever-increasing auto-clutter and get yourself and your company noticed in a positive way.

LinkedIn Action #4– 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.

Time consuming? Yes. Successful? Absolutely.

LinkedIn Action #5 – Lead Nourishment

Some years ago, 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’ve since learned that – as with any other lead generation channel – 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 community, network and target prospects 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 #6 – Media Relations

And while you’re at it, why ignore the media? Because I’m building relationships with the media inside my own LinkedIn community and because I’m sharing my own 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 be featured in their upcoming ebook for B2B marketers.

Still think 15 to 30 minutes per day is enough time to market your organization on LinkedIn?

Comment below and share how long you spending marketing your business on LinkedIn and the actions you are currently taking. Then share the new actions you’re going to start taking after reading this article.