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thought leadership

Being a thought leader

A thought leader might sound like some kind of mindreading dystopian dictator from the novel 1984, but it’s also something you need to become if you want to be an MVP. It’s not enough just to consume content: you need to conceive, create and deliver content that will define the way people think about your technology. Here are some tips for how you can do it:

Contribute quality

Want to know how to become a Microsoft MVP? Get noticed by keeping active in your technology's forums and blogs. The TechNet and Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) forums are monitored by current MVPs and Microsoft staff, so they provide a window for you to showcase what you’re all about. Although it doesn’t hurt to post regularly, make sure it’s of a high standard rather than content for content’s sake.

Blog, log and flog

Anyone can have an opinion, but not everyone can generate opinion. Create your own unique content and share your knowledge about your technology by writing blogs, Wiki articles, forums posts and whitepapers. From public speaking tips to insider knowledge on how to bag the best analytics job, there are people out there who want information. After all, content leads to credibility. If you can start to build the community around your content, you know you’re doing something right.

Moderate to accumulate

Don’t just ask questions. Prove you’re a genuine expert by answering them too. Post regular, high quality answers (we’re talking hundreds) on your technology’s forums on MSDN or TechNet, vote for helpful posts and earn Forum Achievement Medals. Then, you can approach moderators and ask to join their ranks, citing your forum contributions and business cases for improving all forums. It helps if you can find a gap in the market. If a forum seems to need moderation, become an expert in that technology and fill that gap.

Get on the guest list

You know you want to see your cheesy portrait hovering over a host of content pieces across the tech community. It shows you’re recognised and respected in the right circles. So you need to contribute guest blogs and articles to well-known blogs to get your face out there. Research relevant magazines and submit articles to try to get published. Look for popular search terms that other people might be interested in such as ‘data analyst jobs in London’. You can also ask to produce technical reviews of books that are being written, giving you genuine credibility in the market.

Author your authority

When you’ve got your name out there and you’re regularly contributing to the community, you’ll have the knowledge and the mandate to submit book pitches to publishers. It’s a tough step, but it will really establish you as an accomplished expert in your technological specialism and there’s no better way of getting noticed. To prepare for your pitch you can gain some effective presentation skills with our Present of Presenting blog post.

If you fancy a coffee and a chat about creating fantastic tech content or about your career in general, give us a shout. You bring the loyalty card. We’ll bring the stamp.


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