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How To Become A Sitecore MVP

Becoming A Sitecore MVP

Sitecore MVP applications are now open for 2022! This year anyone can apply without needing a nomination like in previous years. Click here to apply before November 30th when the application portal closes, or keep reading for my tips on how to become a Sitecore MVP.

In 2021 I became a Sitecore MVP for the first time in the Strategy category - a big milestone in my career. Since then, I’ve received questions from other Sitecore users about how to become a Sitecore MVP, and what you can do to win this coveted award. I want to help as many of you be able to reach this milestone as I can, so keep reading to learn more about the application process, and what it takes to become an MVP.

Here's what we'll cover:

Who Are MVPs?

MVPs (most valuable professionals) are knowledge experts who passionately share their knowledge about a technology or platform with the community.

In Sitecore’s case, Sitecore MVPs are experts, who have demonstrated mastery of the platform. They have a strong sense of community and participate in online and offline community events, forums and discussions to offer help to others.

Sitecore MVPs are truly committed. They devote countless hours of their free time to share their knowledge via webinars, YouTube videos, blogs, seminars, etc.

All MVPs I know have a curious spirit. They strive to figure things out rather than saying “I don’t know how”, and once they figure it out they want to share it with the world so others can also benefit.

You don't need to have a certain personality type to become an MVP. The great thing about being part of the Sitecore community is all the different people you get to work with. So don’t be afraid to be authentic in your MVP journey and let your personality shine through your contributions.

Sitecore MVP Categories

There are 3 Sitecore MVP categories that you can receive the MVP award for:

  • Technology MVP
  • Strategy MVP
  • Ambassador MVP

Technology MVP

Technology MVPs have a wealth of technical experience and share their knowledge and expertise with other developers, marketers, strategists, and Sitecore partners and customers.

Sitecore looks for these qualities in a technology MVP:

  • Sharing original quality content like videos, blogs, podcasts, etc.
  • Active involvement on the Sitecore Slack channels & Sitecore Stack Exchange
  • Replying to questions on the community.sitecore.net forum
  • Provide regular product feedback
  • Participating in conversations on social media platforms
  • Speaking at events like Sitecore Symposium or User Groups
  • Contributing to open source module/s

Strategy MVP

Strategy MVPs have a strong understanding of using Sitecore Experience Cloud to drive business results through data driven marketing, and who share their experience and knowledge with customers, users and implementation teams.

Sitecore looks for these qualities in a strategy MVP:

  • Demonstrated expertise with data driven marketing and achieving business value on marketing investments
  • Thought leadership on digital experience including content, strategy, user experience and analytics
  • Excellent knowledge of the Sitecore Experience Cloud
  • Provides customers with value and references successful Sitecore projects

Ambassador MVP

Ambassador MVPs have a solid knowledge of Sitecore’s latest offerings and provide value for Sitecore by influencing partners, industry, customers and decision makers, while providing product feedback, supplying references and case studies.

Sitecore looks for these qualities in an ambassador MVP:

  • Knowledge of the latest Sitecore offerings
  • Active participation in the Sitecore Advisory Councils
  • Providing product feedback
  • Driving business to Sitecore
  • Internal or external ambassador of Sitecore
  • Supplies references and case studies

Honorary MVP Award

Sitecore’s CEO gives out an honorary MVP award to a Sitecorian who has demonstrated outstanding achievements during their career.

What Are The Benefits Of Becoming A Sitecore MVP?

Recognition

The Sitecore MVP awards give winners public recognition as being global Sitecore experts and community leaders. You’ll be listed in the MVP Directory, receive a recognition letter and a trophy with your name on it. It’s a great career milestone and can lead to new opportunities.

Exclusive Invitations

You’ll receive access to early product releases, be added to the exclusive Sitecore MVP NDA newsletter, and receive upcoming news before everyone else does. You’ll also be invited to MVP only webinars, product teams, an exclusive Slack group and discussion forum, special perks and recognition at events like Sitecore Symposium and more.

You’ll also receive an exclusive invite to the MVP Summit, an event that gives MVPs insight to product and company strategy with additional activities and networking opportunities.

Networking

Because you’ll be invited to exclusive events, forums, discussions and other meetings and events you’ll have plenty of opportunities to network with other Sitecore MVPs as well as your regional Sitecore team. If you’re someone like me who loves talking about Sitecore, this is a great way to connect with others who love Sitecore just as much as you.

Early Access

Sitecore MVPs are often given priority access to things like news, webinars, training, and product announcements.

Free Sitecore Licenses

As a Sitecore MVP you’ll receive licenses for Sitecore software, including Sitecore XP, Sitecore XC, and the developer collection:

TDS and Razl Feydra: Front-End Development Tool Avtor: Content Control Tool

Discounts & Perks

MVPs are given special discounts for things like training, sandboxes, exams, and other perks like the cool swag gift bags they send you with your trophy. You’ll also get discounted tickets for Sitecore events like SUGCON and Symposium.

Priority Support

As an MVP you’ll receive privileged support from Sitecore and access to more knowledge from your MVP family.

Incredible Opportunities

You’ll be invited to speak on podcasts, be interviewed for websites and blogs, speak in conferences and at other events, and receive some incredible career boosting opportunities.

Qualification Criteria

Anyone who works with the Sitecore platform is eligible to become a Sitecore MVP if they have shared their expertise through online and offline channels.

This includes writing blog posts, filming videos, giving presentations and webinars or being active amongst the Sitecore community.

Sitecore MVP Process

The nomination period for Sitecore MVPs is during November.

Applications for 2022 MVP are now open! This year anyone can apply without needing a nomination like in previous years. Click here to apply before November 30th.

In previous years, all first time Sitecore MVPs must be nominated by existing Sitecore MVPs or Sitecore employees during the nomination period, which is usually during November. For exact dates follow https://twitter.com/SitecoreMVP.

The person nominating (or applying for 2022 MVP) needs to fill out a form that highlights why you should be considered for a Sitecore MVP award.

After you’re invited to apply, you need to create an account and complete an application form on the MVP website.

Make sure you fill in the form as completely and detailed as possible. All information will be used to review your nomination.

The nominations and recommendations are then reviewed during December by existing Sitecore MVPs, the Sitecore SBOS and technical teams, and Sitecore finalizes the award winners in early January. The announcement of the Sitecore MVP Awards is usually towards the end of January.

Sitecore MVP Myths

A lot of people I talk to have some preconceived ideas preventing them from contributing to the Sitecore community. Let’s take a look at some of the most common MVP myths.

Myth: You Have To Be A Sitecore Guru

Lots of people seem to think you need to have some God level knowledge of Sitecore to start sharing what they know with the world. You don’t need to be a tech guru - you just need to be curious to learn and solve problems, and generous and passionate enough to share what you learn with the world.

If you’ve solved problems with Sitecore in the past, you're fully qualified to start sharing your knowledge and helping others. Don’t underestimate what you already know or compare yourself to other Sitecore MVPs. Contribute from your own unique place and once you get started, you’ll start seeing contribution opportunities everywhere.

Also don’t stress about your content having to be perfect. If everyone waited until their content was perfect, no one would publish anything.

Myth: I Don’t Have Time

This is another one I hear a lot, and is usually just an excuse or a fear in disguise. Lack of time is only an illusion for most people, and in fact what you’re saying when you say you don’t have time is just that it simply isn’t a priority for you.

If it isn’t a priority for you to share your knowledge with the community and become an MVP that’s fine, but there’s a reason you’ve read this far in the blog. Maybe you’re using this excuse to cover up a fear you have or a lack of motivation.

When you invest in yourself and the community by contributing your knowledge, you’ll get a guaranteed 100% return on your investment. You’ll become a better person, a better leader, a better professional, unlock more opportunities, meet more people, receive resources and earn more money. Personally I think investing in yourself and your community is the best investment you can make, so don't let lack of time be an excuse for not contributing, or you might regret it later.

Myth: MVPs Make Money From Their Contributions

MVPs contribute to the community for free. This is what makes receiving the MVP distinction so incredible. MVPs spend so much of their free time that they could be spending with their friends and family, or investing in other interests, to share their knowledge with others.

Putting blog posts, videos, webinars and other content together takes a lot more time and effort than most people would realize.

Myth: MVPs Are Perfect

Very false. MVPs are people just like you, therefore we all make mistakes and are far from perfect - whatever that means anyway. Just like the “I don’t have time” illusion, perfectionism is another big one that can paralyze a lot of people and cause them to overthink an idea for a blog, video or webinar so much that it will never see the light of day. We’re all guilty of it, we just can’t let it get in the way of helping others.

Myth: You Need To Be A Great Public Speaker

Nope. While there are lots of public speaking opportunities for MVPs, being a great public speaker is not a requirement to become a Sitecore MVP. In-fact, there are many opportunities to grow your skills in public speaking through the MVP program, and just like any other contributions, no one is expecting perfectionism from you.

Myth: MVP Is A Certification

The Sitecore MVP is an award, not a certification. You can’t apply for it, or sit an exam or test to become an MVP, you are awarded the title.

What It Takes

I’ve written a lot about the great benefits of becoming a Sitecore MVP, and some of the myths that might be holding you back. Let's now look at it what it takes from you so you can prepare for the journey and be successful.

1. Desire To Help

You need to have a desire to help other Sitecore users. This is because the MVP title is awarded based on contributions to the community. Sometimes you might not feel like writing a blog or making a video (we're all human!), and knowing that your blog can help lots of other people who might be stuck on the same thing can be that motivation you need to keep writing and publishing your content.

Passion

Similar to the previous point about desire to help, you need to be passionate.

MVPs are fiercely passionate and go the extra mile to make contributions that cover all aspects of a topic in a helpful way.

You need to be curious and passionate enough to spend your free time solving problems, playing around and figuring things out and helping others without expecting anything back from it.

This means you might need to sacrifice some other interests that take up your free time, and you need to be passionate in order to have the motivation to do this.

3. Growth & Energy

As you contribute to the Sitecore community you'll also “level up” your own skillet. Which is pretty incredible, since you can go through the MVP journey solely to help others, and through that process end up helping yourself.

But you need to be willing to grow in order to get this benefit, which will take energy as you solve problems and figure things out for the benefit of other Sitecorians.

4. Motivation & Willpower

Becoming an MVP takes sacrifices. You’ll be putting in effort, time and sometimes even money and other resources if you give up other work to contribute.

You need to have a lot of motivation and willpower. Know what your ‘why’ is - why do you want to be an MVP? Write down your motivations and remind yourself of them. They’ll keep you going during the times when you’re ‘too tired’, or when Netflix sounds more appealing than spending hours prepping, recording, editing and publishing a tutorial video.

Contribution Tips

Your Content

Keep a document handy of content ideas and inspiration and you’ll start seeing opportunities everywhere.

Choose a lane to specialize in that you’re most passionate about, or where your skill set lies. For example, if you’re not skilled in the technical aspects of Sitecore, then it’s going to be difficult for you to become an MVP in the technical category. Be realistic with yourself and set yourself up for success.

Prioritize content that will help the most people. One of the things that makes a great MVP is that they help lots of people, plus you’ll also need to get your content in front of as many people as possible so that you’ll be nominated.

One of the easiest ways to help lots of people is to create content on topics that lots of people need help with. This also might mean optimizing your content and creating some sharing strategies that will get it in front of as many people as possible.

Yourself

Set time aside to do your contributions. This might mean you need to be strict with your free time and more honest with yourself than you have been in the past.

Figure out roughly how long it takes you to contribute with each type of content (i.e. blog, video, webinar, etc.) so you can be realistic with your time. Make a habit of contributing during set times each week to create a routine for yourself and the others in life. This tells yourself and other people that that this is important.

Quality matters. Be committed to contributing with the highest quality you can. Set some standards for yourself to get you into the habit of putting your best effort in.

Tracking

Keep accurate records of your impact on the community. The best way to do this is using a spreadsheet. In the spreadsheet mark the date of your contribution, the type of contribution, the impact of it, and a link to your work.

Don’t cram the month before, it's not sustainable and we're trying to set you up for long-term success here!

Submit your contributions and list your impact over the last 12 months. Don’t just trust your memory.

Wrap Up

I hope you're this blog was able to give you a realistic view of what it takes to become an MVP and the application process. If you have any questions that I didn’t answer in this blog, please shoot me a message on LinkedIn or Twitter. I’d be more than happy to help you or provide advice on your MVP application. Until next time, take care, and good luck with your MVP application and community contributions!

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