I regularly get asked this question
How do I become a CRM MVP?
Do you have any tips on becoming a CRM MVP?
I find this questions a bit odd because I am not a CRM MVP so I’m not really the best person to ask? But readers of my blog will know ignorance of a subject has never stopped me giving advice or blogging about it. Blogging about something I know nothing about is one of the methods I use to learn about topics
My usual method of learning
- Research a topic
- Write about it
- Get comments from Adam Vero correcting me on the subject
I’m not sure why some people assume I am a CRM MVP maybe because I wrote I interviewed 24 CRM MVP’s and you can read all of those interviews by clicking the link below
Rather than writing individual emails to people, I decided to write a blog and could just point people in the direction of this blog and save myself time in the future. It also seemed like a good time to write this article as the latest round of CRM MVP awards was yesterday on 1st April (which seems like a bit of a cruel day to award MVP awards).
Congratulations all the CRM MVP’s who were renewed and created yesterday, keep up the great contributions to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM community.
I personally really appreciate the content and effort of the CRM MVP’s, not only have they made my life easier by providing tools, explanation and solutions to CRM problems they have also been responsible for creating interesting and thought-provoking solutions. It’s not just CRM MVP’s it’s a lot of members of the CRM community, lots of clever people doing lots of clever things and sharing it.
Lets start by understanding what an MVP award is
What is a Microsoft MVP Award?
Microsoft has an award called MVP (most valuable professional), this is different from the Microsoft Community Badges.
Microsoft gives MVP awards for all the different flavours of products and software (.NET, CRM, NAV, SQL Server)
The Microsoft MVP award even has it’s on wiki page – Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, here is how the Wiki page describes the MVP award
According to Microsoft, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award is given to “exceptional, independent community leaders who share their passion, technical expertise, and real-world knowledge of Microsoft products with others.”[ The awarded are people who “actively share their … technical expertise with the different technology communities related directly or indirectly to Microsoft”. An MVP is awarded for contributions over the previous year.
Microsoft has a page about becoming an MVP, there are currently 3800 MVP’s! There are currently 68 CRM MVP’s and you can see all your CRM MVP’s here
Microsoft describes Who are MVP as
Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals, or MVPs are exceptional community leaders who actively share their high-quality, real-world deep technical expertise with the community and with Microsoft. They are committed to helping others get the most out of their experience with Microsoft products and technologies.
If you want to find a CRM MVP in your country then you can use the search tool here
How do you become a CRM MVP
To become an MVP you have to be totally awesome with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. In fact you have to be so awesome that someone will think.
“That person is so awesome at CRM, their blogs/video’s/forum answers/group meetings/tool has made my life so much easier and better I’m going to nominate them for an CRM MVP award”.
What I am saying is CRM MVP’s have to be nominated by going to this page
The page does have two options
- If you would like to nominate yourself, click here.
- If you would like to nominate someone else, click here.
but I’m guessing not one of the CRM MVP’s nominated themselves?
When someone gets nominated the person who nominated them sends them an email with a link to their nomination and the person will fill in details about their contribution to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM community.
CRM MVP’s are given out 4 times a year, every three months. To decide who gets a CRM MVP award a mysterious panel of Microsoft people get together to decide who should get an CRM MVP award.
Then on allotted day the CRM MVPS will get an email notifying of their award.
What are the benefits of being a CRM MVP
As I am not a CRM MVP I am a bit hazy about the benefits apart from the obvious benefit of being recognized as a CRM MVP by Microsoft and the CRM community.
I believe they get some early access to new releases and features
The MVP’s meet up once a year at the CRM summit
Free membership of CRMUG
Free license for Resharper
Replace MVP with career
The advice in this blog is around becoming a CRM MVP but if you replace the letters MVP and replace it with career, most of the sentences would make sense.
The point I am making is the advice is useful in becoming a CRM expert, increasing your network and personal brand. Improving those areas will undoubtedly be a benefit to your career in Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
Other articles to help your career and improve your skills
Microsofts Tips on how to become a CRM MVP
Who better to ask about becoming a CRM MVP than Microsoft themselves. Probably motivated by being asked the question “how do I become an MVP?” a million times, Microsoft created this page
This is a very detailed page and has 93 revisions! last updated Jan 2014
It’s a long article here are three significant points
Be a Leader in CRM
The article mentions leadership and being a leader in a number of places. CRM MVP’s lead the community with advice, best practices and understanding of the CRM Product.
Be consistent – MVP Award is a marathon award
MVP awards are awarded for 12 months of high-quality contributions
Quality is more important than quantity
I would advise you to read the article because it has links on Tips to Becoming an MVP (by MVP’s), these are not just CRM MVP’s
Personal Blogs on becoming an MVP
How to become a CRM MVP by MVP’s
MICROSOFT SQL MVP AWARD – I’LL TAKE A FIFTH
How to become a Microsoft MVP – Most Valuable Professional?
Hosk tips (take into account I’m not a CRM MVP)
If your goal is become a CRM MVP then you are likely to fail. People are awarded the CRM MVP award for contributions over a 12 month period. 12 months is a long time, it would be very difficult to artificially put in a lot of effort for 12 months.
To become a CRM MVP you need a passion for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and a passion for sharing knowledge and helping people (learn CRM).
If you become a CRM MVP it’s not because you wanted to become a CRM MVP it’s because you have contributed some great content to the CRM community.
Your goal should be to increase you knowledge and skill in Microsoft Dynamics CRM and by sharing this knowledge with the community you might become a CRM MVP at some point.
Quality not Quantity
If you read CRM MVP blogs their blog posts are high quality. Simple blog posts can be what I can show and tell, where the blog post will walk you through a process step by step by lack any insight.
- Deep dive
- Best practices
- Innovative use of CRM
- Solve problems not just technical displays
- Long detailed posts
Join and interact with the CRM community and make friends
CRM MVP’s our thought Leaders
CRM MVP’s are thought-leaders in the CRM community. They provide innovative solutions, tools, best practices, help and guidance to members of the CRM community.
Create your own content
There are lots of great blogs/videos/books/presentations and other content being created about Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Don’t spend all your time commenting and discussing other peoples great content. Make sure you create your own great content, to show people you are an expert in CRM.
Be Nice, Be humble – The goal is to become more knowledge about CRM
You learn about CRM by teaching (writing blogs, creating videos, Wiki articles, giving presentations).
You learn about CRM by learning and consuming other peoples CRM content
Make friends with CRM MVP’s
Become an expert in a part of CRM
Tips for someone who wants to become a CRM MVP from CRM MVP’s
One of the questions in the questionnaire to the CRM MVP’s in the interviews was do you have any tips for someone who wants to become a CRM MVP, the answers to this question are below.
There are many tips that have been repeated over and over but I don’t think people embraces exclusivity. I believe that if you want to be a CRM MVP you should find a place and become the best at it. For example, say you decide to create youtube videos about CRM. Don’t go and create 3 videos, answer 20 questions, post 15 blogs, send 100 tweets. That won’t get you noticed as fast as posting 75 videos on youtube, or answering 300 questions on the same forum. Being an MVP is all about getting noticed by the right people, to get noticed you need to stand out by helping others, answering 2 questions on 20 forums is not the same as answering 40 in one forum. The people from that forum will notice you and that’s what you need. So, pick a vehicle and be the best at it.
Get a mentor.
Follow everything that Gus Gonzalez says and writes about. He is the number one CRM Guru in all the US J
Find a few ways to contribute to the CRM community and be consistent. Play to your strengths, for just about any skills needed in CRM (developer, analyst, infrastructure, etc…) there is probably a forum someplace where people need help that you could participate in. Attend events and get to know people. Local CRMUG meetings or big events like Convergence are great places to meet people and network.
Contribute with community. Do something innovative. It is better to try and regret then regret that you haven’t tried.
You shouldn’t want to become a MVP and work hard for it. It is because you work hard for the community that you will eventually be awarded as a MVP.Leon TribeMicrosoft value measurable community activity which means their forums are a good place to make a splash (although these days it is highly competitive). Being outside of the USA also helps for forums because it means you may see a question and have a chance to answer it while the board leaders are sleeping.Having a blog and providing interesting, fresh content is also good and is, again, very visible to Microsoft.However you make your mark, the other thing you need to do is make sure people know about your activity. Reach out to existing MVPs, reach out to local Microsoft representatives and become known in those circles. If you have an awesome tool for CRM, give the MVPs easy access to it so they can use it and blog about it. Being known for being passionate about the product is just as important as the passion itself.
When you blog or get involved in the community, differentiate yourself with original content. Try to connect with other MVPs by reaching out chatting during events (e.g. Convergence). Always be respectful and never “steal” content from someone else’s blog.
Be consistent—someone will not be a MVP by writing blog posts for 3 months—you have to regularly contribute, and find a pace that you can keep up with for the long term. Don’t do it if you are just looking to advance yourself—you won’t make it. Do it if you genuinely enjoy helping others and giving back to the community.The way I became an MVP was by setting a goal to answer 1 forum post a day—something that you can do in 10 minutes while watching television at night. By answering forum posts, I found out what people were wanting to know. This gave me ideas for blog posts. If I didn’t know the answer, I figured it out, wrote a blog post with the answer, and posted it as the answer.Even if you don’t make MVP, you will still benefit from growing your knowledge of CRM.Don’t be intimidated by others in the community—everyone has something that they are better at than you, but you are probably better at some things than they are. And don’t view them as your competition. By sharing your knowledge, we all benefit.
Find your own blue ocean, understand that you don’t have to be the best to be able to share something to the community. There is a lot that can be said about many things not rocket science.
Here are five principles that I would give as advice for any Dynamics CRM professional aspiring to be an MVP:Be active on several different sites/networks/forums. No matter if you’ve got the best CRM blog in the world, having a presence that is limited to a single channel isn’t going to be beneficial for the MVP Award evaluation process.Be consistent. No one has enough time to be active on all possible channels where Dynamics CRM is discussed, so it’s important to focus your efforts on those where you feel you can regularly contribute content.Amplify the work of others. Often times you can bring value to the community by simply sharing the best content that you have come across while reading blogs. Become the “filter” that other community members trust for curating the feed of relevant CRM news.Remember to interact, not just share. The Dynamics CRM community is a relatively small group of professionals spread around the globe, therefore a bit of personal touch in communication can make a big difference.
Think of becoming an MVP is an honor. It is not something as collecting titles just as collecting “friends” inside your favourite social community. Start sharing knowledge and someone will recognize and honor this. Always “give first” to get something back.
I think the best MVPs aren’t the ones that tried for it. In fact, I dare say that those who try for it and get disappointed with the lack of results are more dangerous to our community than those who simply live and love Dynamics CRM. It’s not that your effort isn’t appreciated by the community, it’s that being an MVP isn’t up to anyone but Microsoft. Quantity and quality are both measured. MVPs can be nominated by anyone. That’s the first step to achieving the award. I’m aware of MVPs who nominated themselves. You just have to have an attractive portfolio to back it up.
Just start sharing knowledge, and collaborate with others. One important thing is to do it for a long time, with no stop, at the end Microsoft recognize people who really want to help others.
The nice thing is that there isn’t one defined path and it is flexible based on your expertise. I think the easiest first step is to get on twitter and start a blog as well as join your local CRMUG and browse the forums to see if you can help. From there you can gather speaking ideas for conference sessions or webinars or as a developer, build some free custom tools/utilities.
Contribute anything you know to the community, let the golden idea shines, any idea will be beneficial for the CRM community to grow.
Visit the forums, and find a “how do I…” question you don’t immediately know the answer to (especially one that is unanswered after a few days). Reproduce the scenario, build a working solution, and test it out for yourself. Write up the answer, and if it merits it, turn it into a more detailed article on your own blog. Repeat.Write about things that others are not covering, look in more depth at a feature, and give people a step-by-step guide on how to do something unusual.Carve out a niche. Become the “go-to” guy or gal for ADFS, or Workflow, or security, or Business Process Flows, or the new 2013 sales process, or the Dynamics Connector. This will get you noticed without you having to make much noise.
Share what you learn and help people solve problems while being passionate about your work. That’s not only a great prescription for becoming an MVP, it’s a great way to have a happy and rewarding career.
It’s all about your contributions to the CRM communities online, in user groups etc. The key is you have to like being involved and engaged in the communities. Everything else comes naturally IMO.
Read, participate in forums and read