I Wanna Be … A SharePoint MVP

Seeing as the latest wave of MVP’s has just been awarded, it’s likely to be on a few people’s minds as to how to achieve this.

The first thing you have to ask yourself is – how are you standing out from the crowd?  What are you doing that makes you rise head and shoulders above anyone else in what you do?  If you can answer that, you could be on your way to MVP.

The next thing to ask is – how passionate are you about this?  Because you have to be passionate on insane levels to achieve and then maintain this award.  It can take 3 – 5 years to win an award.  It’s a brutal attack on all your senses! Are you sure you can maintain unpaid community work for that long?  And thereafter?  If not, this is not for you.

There is a common misconception that MVP is a technical award only, it’s not.  It’s a community award too.  It’s for exceptional work in the local and international community.

Some things you need to know about the program :

  • It’s not open to Microsoft employees.
  • There are 15 main categories of MVP’s which are then broken down into the various competencies.
  • There are less than 250 SharePoint MVP’s worldwide. (And less than 5000 MVP’s in total across all the product lines).
  • There is a rigorous review process that looks at your last 12 months of activity.
  • The award is only valid for 1 year and you need to re-apply every year to the same strict criteria.
  • Awards are given every quarter.
  • Budget is allocated to each product and country for MVP’s.  This means that regardless of what you’re doing, you may not be nominated as there is only budget available for 2 SharePoint MVP’s in the country.  (This is extra motivation to really shine hey).
  • MVP’s are subject to strict non disclosure agreements and you will be in plenty of trouble if you break the NDA.
  • The local and international community leaders have to sign off on your nomination.
  • You can nominate people for the award if you think they’ve really excelled.
  • You get an MSDN and TechNet license for the year.
  • You get a really cool trophy and certificate!! … and of course modest bragging rights. 😉
  • You can attend the annual MVP Summit at Redmond long as you pay for the flights.

How do you get started?  Start contributing to the community – in a very big way!  Competition for MVP is very high and getting higher by the day.  If you are really serious about standing out in the community, start learning how to speak in public, start learning how to listen properly, and learn PowerPoint presentation best practices because you could end up on the speaker circuit.  If that happens you’ll spend a lot of time building slidedecks and talking to people.

If you aren’t writing a blog, best you get started right now and write voraciously! Get on all the social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn, etc and start answering questions.  Attend every user group and conference you can.  Volunteer your services.  Know your craft.  Most importantly, specialise.  You can’t be all things to all people.  Decide on the one thing you’re good at in SharePoint and excel in it like crazy!!

Document everything you do.

Your reasons need to be pure.  If you suddenly start trying to contribute because you think it will get you MVP, you won’t succeed.  You need to help the community because you genuinely want to and believe in your heart it’s what you are born to do.

Finally, should you succeed at being awarded, remember that with great power comes great responsibility – don’t let it go to your head. In other words, don’t become a schmuck, (lots have).

Get all the rest of the official details from the MVP site – and good luck!  Go for it, you can do it.

What has changed since I became MVP in January?  The hits on my blog have gone up by 1000+ every month, I’ve had people contact me from all over world asking for advice or to work with me.  Is it worth it?  Hell yes!! 🙂

[This post has been placed on the Information Worker website for your convenience.]

About Veronique Palmer

Empowering people one at a time.
This entry was posted in Awards. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to I Wanna Be … A SharePoint MVP

  1. sp says:

    great sharing

    Like

  2. Hi there! This post could not be written any better! Reading through
    this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him.

    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    Like

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    Like

  4. Thanks Lianne. 🙂

    Like

  5. Lianne Nagel says:

    V, congrats on your award. Noone is more deserving than you!

    Like

  6. Pingback: SharePoint Daily » Blog Archive » What Type of SharePoint User Are You?; The Road to Enterprise Collaboration; How Windows Phone 7 Could Prevail

  7. You’re quite right Rene. You and Christian agree – tons of great content so everybody wins! It’s awesome.

    Like

  8. Rene says:

    “Your reasons need to be pure. If you suddenly start trying to contribute because you think it will get you MVP, you won’t succeed. You need to help the community because you genuinely want to and believe in your heart it’s what you are born to do.”

    That’s in my opinion the key point here! I haven’t been around in the SharePoint space as many others (only around 3.5 years now), but judging from any new MVPs that I’ve seen during that time, they were all dedicated because they wanted to help, and not because they wanted to get the award. This dedication (not just from the MVPs, but also from many others) is what makes the SharePoint community really great. Everyday, I find myself looking at lots of great content, I see lots of events going on, lots of discussions, etc.

    Like

  9. Thanks Dave. And well done again on your award!! 🙂

    Aw, thanks Christian. Flattery will get you everywhere. 🙂 Of course you can shamelessly punt it. Have you shamelessly added SharePoint Experts on LinkedIn to the list like I asked oh so long ago? 😉

    Like

  10. Dave Coleman says:

    Hi V great post with great advice.

    Dave

    Like

  11. You could not become a schmuck even if you tried, Veronique. You have that anti-schmuck glow about you.

    I love this kind of content because the SharePoint community will greatly benefit from all of the content and good will created out there by people trying to step it up. Even if people don’t make the cut, think of all the benefits…

    And if I can make one quick plug — my free ebook may give people ideas on how they can do more to build their own brand, their corporate brand, or just to get more involved. Download here

    Like

  12. Hahahahaha!! PRICELESS comment Kerri, well done! 😀

    PS : Thanks for the compliment. 🙂

    Like

  13. Kerri says:

    Another great post Veronique! Love it – don’t become a #ShareSchmuck!

    Like

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