Episode 18 - How Do I Become A Salesforce MVP?


In this episode I discuss the various elements around becoming a Salesforce MVP.

You love Salesforce. You post things online, retweet others, and attend Salesforce User Group events. 

But you want to become a Salesforce MVP and you’re not sure what do to first, to earn that credential.

As a Salesforce MVP, people ask me this quite frequently. I’ve dedicated this episode of the Brainiate Show to dispel some myths and share with you my perspective and experiences on becoming a Salesforce MVP.

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Listen to the Podcast:


Transcript:

I get this question very often. Most MVP's that I know also get this question quite often. Question is, how do I become an MVP? I'd like to address this question. Kind of a loaded question. We're going to unravel a couple of layers of it.

First, for those of you, who are not familiar with the Salesforce MVP Program, let me describe it to you. What is the MVP program then? Salesforce MVP Program is a way to recognize individuals within the Salesforce Ohana, the Salesforce community, that have demonstrated certain characteristics, expertise, and that's expertise on the Salesforce products as well as the Salesforce Ohana itself, generosity, contributing openly to others in the Salesforce community. Leadership, demonstrating a path for others to follow. Advocacy. Advocating on behalf of Salesforce's core values, of the trust, growth, innovation and equality.

The process of becoming an MVP basically happens through nominations. Anyone can nominate one or multiple people to become a Salesforce MVP. Honestly, I've never bothered to truly learn exactly what happens after the nomination process. Frankly, I couldn't care less. It makes absolutely no difference in my life. I am a Salesforce MVP.

First, let me continue describing the rest of the Salesforce MVP program, before I describe a little bit more about becoming a Salesforce MVP. When someone becomes a Salesforce MVP, there are certain MVP rewards, or I like to think of them as perks. By the way, these are very nice, very generous perks. They will not change your life, by any means. I appreciate them. I appreciate them wholeheartedly. None of them are going to rock your world. What are they?

First of all, access to premiere support at Salesforce. You'll have access to Salesforce MVP trainings and certifications. Special briefings regarding Salesforce products with their product and marketing teams. Access to Salesforce executives at exclusive MVP networking events. Frequent opportunities to contribute at Salesforce events and on Salesforce social content. Those are some of the rewards of being a Salesforce MVP.

When people ask me, "How do I become a Salesforce MVP? What did you do to become a Salesforce MVP?" My first question to them is, "Why? Why do you want to become a Salesforce MVP?" Honestly at no point in my life, was it ever even a thought, that my goal was to become a Salesforce MVP ever. I never thought about it. I knew that the Salesforce MVP program existed for quite a few years. It never dawned upon me that, that's something that I should want to get, that, that would be an accomplishment, that my life would be better. I would reach a new level in my career, or advancement to become a Salesforce MVP? A lot of times, I don't really get a clear answer from them.

I start making it clear, a little bit of a reality check, by explaining, "Well, once you become a Salesforce MVP, you're not necessarily going to have better job security." Most employers probably couldn't care less. Most employers probably don't even know what the Salesforce MVP program is. If you try explaining to them, they're going to roll their eyes, because they just don't care. It doesn't mean anything to them, most of the time. You're not going to get more friends out of it either.

Your family members will just roll their eyes. They couldn't care less. I can honestly tell you that my family members, my friends, couldn't care less. They don't care, so I don't talk about it. They're the ones who often ask me, because they think that there's something mysterious when they see somewhere online, my name mentioned as far an MVP or something. I do include it on my social media profiles, the fact that I happen to be a Salesforce MVP. Other people have far larger assumptions about what the MVP label even entails, or how it impacts someone's life. For me it's like, "Okay. Yeah. So I happen to be a Salesforce MVP. Okay."

Lastly, once you become a Salesforce MVP, you're not going to suddenly get wealthy. No one is going to be throwing money at you. I honestly don't know what the big mystery is about, or this fantasy level of what's going to happen? What's going to change in your life, if you were to become a Salesforce MVP. Now that we have that out of the way, let's address the question, the ... Let's go down one layer of, how do I become an MVP? How did most people become MVP's? As I mentioned earlier ... By the way, you can look it up. You can just Google Salesforce MVP's. You'll see what the MVP program is about. There is no real secret magic recipe.

The individuals who have become Salesforce MVP's, we all have, in many ways, very different personalities. There are some common attributes for sure, because the attributes that I mentioned earlier, definitely apply to most people who are MVP's. At the same time, we've all done it in slightly different ways. Some of us are bloggers, and some are podcasters. Some don't do any. Some just share on social media. The lights keep going on me every time I record a video. Some of us have blogs. Some of us do not. Some of us get involved, many ... I would say probably most Salesforce MVP get very involved in the local user groups. Many are leaders in user groups, but not all are user group leaders.

There is no secret magic recipe. We are not ... The Salesforce MVP's are not cookie cutter clones of each other. We all look and act and talk differently and interact with the world differently and interact with the community around us in different ways, although there is a common thread. All of us have demonstrated these core values, that's just part of our DNA, and how we express it, is all based on individuality.

In the end, my recommendation is, simply do what you think is best, to share your own knowledge, your own expertise, your own wisdom, your own leadership with others in the Salesforce community. Don't chase labels. Your goal in life should not be to earn that MVP label. Most MVP's that I know did not do anything to proactively earn that label. Most MVP's that I know, did not set out as a goal for themselves, that they want to become an MVP. They're going to do X,Y, and Z, to become an MVP. No. They simply did X,Y, and Z, because they wanted to. They share their expertise. They started blogging. They started getting involved in the Salesforce user group. They started getting involved in Salesforce events, because they wanted to, not because they wanted to become a Salesforce MVP.

Now, let's look at that element of it. If, you are looking for way to help others in the Salesforce community and the Salesforce Ohana, how can you do it? What can you do? There are tons of opportunities for you. You can share your knowledge, your Salesforce knowledge with others at work, in your own company, where you're employed. Share your knowledge with others. Start there. Start with the people that you interact with most at your place of employment. Share your Salesforce expertise, your ideas, your experiences on social media.

By the way, you could also become an MVP without even having any social media account. You don't have to have a social media account. You don't have to be active on social media. Many people are. That's one incredibly easy way of sharing whatever's in your head, whatever your experiences, the best practice is, the knowledge, the ideas. Go ahead and share it with others. Share it with other verbally. Share it with others in person, when you meet them at Salesforce user groups, at other Salesforce events, speaking opportunities at Salesforce events right? Your local user group. Share it on social media too. It's incredibly easy.

You can get involved in your local Salesforce user group. Getting involved might mean helping with the logistics, might mean offering to be a speaker on a particular topic that you'll expertise in. It might mean, helping to find a sponsor for an upcoming user group. It might mean starting your own user group. You could also start a Salesforce certification study group. There are many people, who are studying to take an upcoming Salesforce certification exam and they would love the opportunity to collaborate with others, who are focusing on trying to pass the same exact exam. Start a study group. It could be in person in your local area, and your local town, your local city. It could be virtual. Get together once a week, twice a week, whatever it is. It's up to you.

You could volunteer your time, helping a nonprofit that's using Salesforce. If you've gained Salesforce expertise at work, if you've studied and passed various Salesforce certification exams, go ahead and reach out to other nonprofits in your local area, nonprofits that you are passionate about. Find out whether or not they're using Salesforce. Believe it or not, many, more and more nonprofits are using Salesforce, to track their donors and donations, to track their volunteers, to track different initiatives that they're doing.

Go ahead and get involved with them. Help them out. For all you know, they have no idea how to build reports and dashboards. That's something that you happen to know. You'd be like a magician to them. Go ahead and do it. Go ahead and log onto the Salesforce Trailblazer Community, where people are posting questions, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Start answering some of those questions. Solve people's problems from the comfort of your home. It's easy. Now by the way, you don't have to do all of these things. Do what whichever resonate with you. Do whatever is comfortable with you.

In the end, do yourself a favor. Don't chase labels. For all we know, the Salesforce MVP program will just disappear, for whatever reason. Again, most of the people, as I mentioned earlier, myself certainly, but most of the people that I know, who are Salesforce MVP's, even if the MVP program disappeared, we would all do the exact same things that we're doing anyway, the things that got us to earn that Salesforce MVP label, we would still be doing it, even if the MVP program disappeared. Just try to do good and share your knowledge with others. That would be the most impactful thing.

By the way, forget about the Salesforce MVP program. It will be incredibly fulfilling and rewarding for you to help others from the knowledge and expertise and the wisdom that you've attained. Anyway, go for it. Tell me what you're doing. Leave me a note, if you have any thoughts on this particular topic, leave me a note. If you have a question that you want me to help answer, related to Salesforce, go ahead and drop me a line. I'll see you in the next episode.



David Giller a Salesforce MVP, User Group Leader, Trainer, Consultant, Blogger & Author.

Although he started his career as an attorney, David entered the world of enterprise-scale IT management at NBCUniversal, & continued at GE Capital, where he was first introduced to Salesforce & became known as "The Salesforce Guru."

David is now CEO of Brainiate, helping companies unleash the power of Salesforce.

You can read more about David's bizarre career path here.


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