Have you ever thought about supporting the Sitecore community by becoming an Sitecore MVP?
An MVP is “an individual with expertise in Sitecore who actively participates in online/offline communities to share their knowledge and expertise with other Sitecore partners and customers.”
There are many benefits of becoming a Sitecore MVP, from supporting and growing the Sitecore community to gaining recognition as a global Sitecore expert and receiving exclusive invites to MVP events and early product launches. If you are passionate, skilled and looking to become an influencer and champion within the Sitecore community then follow these tips to help you become a Sitecore MVP.
1. Contribute to online Sitecore communities
These online communities are platforms that are used by thousands of programmers and technology specialists to collaborate, share and grow in their respective fields. By sharing your knowledge and contributing to an online platform you can increase your reputation as a Sitecore programmer and thus your chances of becoming an influencer and Sitecore MVP.
Stack Overflow: is the largest online community for programmers to learn and share their knowledge. If you are a programmer that is passionate about learning new insights, skills and developments, Stack Overflow is an excellent resource where you are also able to share your own knowledge.
Sitecore Stack Exchange: created by Mark Cassidy (Sitecore MVP 2009 & 2014), Stack Exchange is a question and answer site like Stack Overflow that is aimed at developers and end users of Sitecore CMS. It works the same way in that anyone can ask and answer questions, the best answers are voted on and rise to the top of the list.
Once you have gained an understanding on how these platforms work, you can start to earn and increase your reputation. When contributing make sure you;
- Stick to only the topics that you know best.
- Ask good thought provoking questions.
- Always try to be the first to answer questions and be sure to give in-depth, detailed and factual answers.
- Check back, edit, and change your answers over time (if your answers become outdated).
Each time you ask a good thought provoking question or compose a detailed answer, you get a chance to receive up votes by other users which in turn earn you points and adds to your reputation that is measured by other users.
You can also contribute to the Sitecore Developer Network by posting and replying to messages on its discussion forums, as well as utilising its extensive Sitecore end user information to extend your knowledge.
2. Get Blogging
Another great way of contributing to the Sitecore community that can help you to become a Sitecore MVP, is to share your passion and knowledge of Sitecore through producing your own content. This could include writing blogs and publishing white papers online for the Sitecore community to view.
When blogging, it’s always a good idea to avoid plagiarising other work, and one way to achieve this is by doing research beforehand to see if your chosen topic has already been covered in a popular blog post. If your content is accurate, insightful and interesting, readers are more likely to, post engage and share and by adding new insight to original topics, your content will be unique and beneficial for other users in the Sitecore community.
3. Engage via social channels
Alongside your solid blogging strategy, it’s great to have a place to share your articles further. Social networking sites such as Twitter are a great platform to do so. You may already have a twitter account with a substantial following, but the more followers from the Sitecore community that you can gain the greater reach your articles will receive.
A great way to achieve this is through engaging with thought leaders and influencers within the Sitecore community that have a presence on twitter. You can do this by looking at the content they share and publish, and the type of interactions they have with others. Occasionally retweet and share some of their content. If you have any thoughts on their articles or blogs, share the link including your views and be sure to mention their twitter handle in the tweet.
4. Participate and Contribute to your local user group
A great way to gain exposure within the Sitecore community offline is to get involved with and attend your local user group. If you are based in the UK, there is a Sitecore User Group that meets each month around the UK for networking, learning, free Pizza and drinks. Could there be any more of a reason to attend?… Each user group also occasionally has guest speakers giving an insight on any aspect of Sitecore.
As we have reiterated the key to becoming an MVP lies in sharing expertise with others, and a great way to do this is by nominating yourself to present at your local user group. You want your presentation to be helpful and innovative, so when deciding on a Sitecore topic to talk about make sure you do your research and offer your insight in an interesting way.
5. Final step: Get nominated!
Once you have racked up the hours contributing to the Sitecore community by sharing your knowledge and expertise with others, the next step is to find a Sitecore employee or Sitecore MVP to recommend you.
This may be easier to do so once you have made connections and contacts through your online and offline engagement within the Sitecore community.
We like to connect with passionate Sitecore specialists and are always happy to discuss the market and how you can develop your career and personal brand in Sitecore, feel free to get in touch or perhaps I’ll see you at one of the next Sitecore meetups!