How to become a Microsoft MVP
If you have never come across the term MVP, it is an acronym for Most Valuable Professional, an award credited to individuals who contribute to the community associated with his/her Microsoft Technology. A way for Microsoft to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the professionals who have made a career with their technology and create leaders amongst the community. MVP’s play a vital role in laying the foundations for Microsoft’s vision by acting as an encyclopaedia for professionals in the industry. With an abundance of certifications and a close relationship with Microsoft, MVP’s are seen as the career goal for many people worldwide but how do you actually become a Microsoft MVP?
There is no exam, course or school that you can enrol into to become an MVP, Microsoft themselves have never disclosed any guidelines or roadmaps to follow to secure the title. In fact, the only way to be associated with getting an MVP status is to be nominated by other professionals within the Microsoft world. Once nominated, Microsoft form a panel to filter through nominees and judge as to which professionals will join this year’s program and who will retain their MVP award.
Over the years, as Microsoft have grown, networking has connected professionals and created communities focused on the technology they specialise in. This has a very positive effect on Microsoft as the discussion and teamwork born from these communities not only increases Microsoft’s popularity, but helps Microsoft in their efforts to advance as a technology. MVP aspirants must play a key role in adding content to feed these communities information and aid in the overall improvement of the technology and professionals. There are two main ways of doing this:
To give yourself the best chance of being awarded MVP status you must be known amongst LinkedIn, forums and regularly attend events. These are your key areas that will get your name known in the Microsoft ecosystem and boost your nomination chances.
LinkedIn is the social playground for professionals to enjoy outside their full-time careers and the Microsoft communities have established a huge following all over the world on it. In order to become an MVP, you must use the LinkedIn playground to your advantage by maximising your following to create your own network. To do this you must contribute to adding content on the platform regularly, but it must be in line with your community’s interests, so you gain likes, comments and shares. This interaction will boost your content to top of your network’s newsfeed exposing your content and name to the world.
Forums will allow you to show the world your knowledge of your technology and push your ideas to the public. Tech industries are notorious for huge discussions involving all things from tutorials to problem solving and like LinkedIn you must add to forums and become popular through the information and ideologies you share. The people who are most likely to become Dynamics 365 MVPs are the people who share content that other Dynamics 365 professionals find useful or inquisitive that they, again, interact with your content which aids in your bid to gain nominations.
The final thing you must do to increase your popularity is to form relationships and bonds within your network and the most influential way to do this is in person. Fortunately for you Microsoft are the hosts of ginormous networking events such as Microsoft Ignite where all levels of experience gather to meet and discuss the future endeavours of Microsoft. Networking is vital to increasing your popularity as alongside idea sharing, networking allows you to share yourself as a person. Your personality is your greatest tool in self marketing and at the end of the day, you need people to like you to get nominations. People at these events are from all corners of the globe so making these bonds will have a knock-on effect to the prior points and get you exposure on a global level. Take LinkedIn, if you connect on a global level and they interact with your content then their connections will see your content, taking your content and personality to all corners of the industries.
So far, I have highlighted the importance of being known however what do you do once you are known? The most popular people aren’t guaranteed to become MVPs, you must use this popularity to influence your network in line with Microsoft’s vision. Dynamics 365 for example is continuously being tweaked, improved and updated so naturally it is hard for all their fan base to fully to keep up. To combat this, likely Dynamics 365 MVP nominees must delegate themselves to managing this loss of information and promulgate everything D365. This can be done in many ways, opening many different avenues to contribute. You could hold workshops, run training courses, set up user groups or even pluck up the courage to speak at an event all to use your influence to share knowledge with the community.
As you can see to become an MVP you must go above the status-quo and devote a substantial proportion of your free time to achieving this award. If you yourself are an individual who wants to be known as one the best and go above the call to arms, email me on [email protected] to chat about the information above or run through the latest Dynamics 365 job opportunities.