How a Guy Named “Solutionman” Created the World’s Largest Network of Innovators and Became “The Most Connected Person on Linkedin”

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What happened when Gerald Haman spent 30 minutes per day networking via Linkedin for 10 years? Get tips from one of the first people to join Linkedin.

Gerald Haman is "Solutionman" and Offers Networking Tips

Gerald Haman is "Solutionman" and Offers Networking Tips

“I’ve been blessed with meeting people with great brains, and I go out of my way, to introduce them to other people who also have great brains.”

Several years ago, when Linkedin surpassed the 100,000-million member mark, Gerald Haman was surprised to receive a personal letter from Reid Hoffman, the cofounder and chairman of Linkedin.

Today, Linkedin has over 250 million members, and Haman is ranked as one of the “Top 10 Most Connected People” on Linkedin. FAST COMPANY’s “Influence Project” ranked Haman as one of the “Top 25 Most Influential People Online.”

Since Linkedin limits the number of an individual’s first-level connections to 30,000, there are nearly 10,000 people who are waiting to connect with Haman. Linkedin data reveals that Haman is directly connected to 30,000 people that link to over 37 million people.

So how did Haman achieve such a milestone? Haman joined Linkedin on February 3, 2004 and was member number 188,322. Besides being an early adopter of Linkedin, Haman made it a priority to invite his network of current and past customers to join Linkedin.

Haman, who was nicknamed “Solutionman” by a client from AT&T, saw Linkedin as a solution for keeping in touch with his network. He already had a database of thousands of connections accumulated from traveling to the world’s leading innovation workshops and giving keynote speeches.

At first people were hesitant to join Haman on Linkedin, but they trusted his opinion and joined. Years later, hundreds of people were grateful to follow Haman’s advice to join Linkedin.

In 2007, Haman was one of the first people to take advantage of Linkedin’s new feature for creating Groups.

Taking advantage of this new opportunity, Haman asked the people in his network what groups they would be interested in joining. Since Haman’s company had focused on providing innovation training for over 20 years to customers in 26 countries, naturally much of his network had a passion for innovation.
He created a group focused on “green and sustainable” innovation, which now has over 20,000 members.

Next, he created a group for people focused on “product and service” innovation that now has 6,000 members. As Haman traveled the globe, he also created geographically-based groups for people in Asia, South American, India and the Middle East. Today, Haman has over 60 Groups on Linkedin that include Brand Innovators (14,000 members), Healthcare Innovators (4,800 members), App Innovators (6,500 members) and a small group of Futurists (1,100 members).

But Haman had something bigger in mind. He created one of the largest groups on Linkedin. His “Marketing, PR, and Sales Innovators” Group has over 260,000 members and is adding about 1,500 members per week. Soon, the total number of members belonging to Solutionman’s Linkedin Groups will surpass 500,000 people. By combining his 30,000 first-level connections with a half million group members, Haman may very well be the “most connected innovator” in the world.

Many people ask Haman why he created his large network: “I enjoy introducing people with great minds to other people with great minds,” states Haman. “The reason some people call me Solutionman is that I have been very effective in introducing people to other people who can help them solve problems.” Haman added. “I’ve been blessed with meeting people with great brains, and I go out of my way, to introduce them to other people who also have great brains.”

The world is filled with many social media experts and people curious to know how Haman created his large network of innovators. HERE ARE SEVERAL WAYS SOLUTIONMAN’S NETWORK KEEPS AHEAD OF THE CURVE AND HOW HE KEEPS BUILDING HIS BRAND:

1. Haman devotes 30-45 minutes per day replying to Linkedin messages and introduction requests.

2. He invites everyone who attends his workshops or hears his keynote speeches to join his groups. For example, Haman spoke to 8,000 people at the Singapore stadium and they were all invited to join his networks.

3. Haman brands his groups so they stand out from the other 1.9 million groups. For example, all his groups have purple logos and unique graphics.

4. He facilitates weekly networking webinars for 20-30 people in his network. All participants share their needs and goals so that other people can offer help or solutions. There is a waiting list for people to be invited to attend his networking webinars.

5. Haman hosts monthly live “networking events” at his Thinkubator Studio near downtown Chicago for up to 50 guests. The Thinkubator invite list is carefully selected from Haman’s Linkedin network in Chicago to ensure the group is diverse. Like the networking webinars, there is a waiting list for people to attend the networking events at The Thinkubator Studios.

6. He organizes networking events for his Linkedin group members when he travels to other cities around the world. He has organized large networking events in New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, China, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Switzerland, Thailand and the Philippines.

SO WHAT OUR SOLUTIONMAN’S PLAN FOR HIS MASSIVE NETWORK OF INNOVATORS? “I will continue to provide opportunities for people in my network to connect and help each other bring more innovation into the world, so we can make our world a better place,” noted Haman. Several years ago, Haman set the world brainstorming record by generating 454,0000 ideas in 60 minutes with 8,000 people in the Singapore stadium. He has been laying the groundwork to break his own world record brainstorm by bringing “Thinkathon Brainstorms” to countries around the world. “I’ve already been approached by potential sponsors who want to take the brainstorming events in the US, Asia, Europe and South America,” said Haman, “and my network on Linkedin will be actively involved.”
EMAIL: solutionman(at)Thinkubators(dot)com

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