Trust the work

Try to think about the last time you went to an important event or conference. Think about the kind of people you met there. I’m going to go out on a limb and say you met two types of people:

  1. People who are really good at what they do (speakers), and
  2. The ones you see in every event (“networkers”).

The thing that these two types of people have in common, is that they don’t have anything in common. Too often, when you see a great professional in a conference or event, she’s there to give a speech. “Networkers”, on the other hand, are in every event trying to give as many handshakes as possible.
What great professionals do is to skip events so they can get better at their craft. They’re not in cocktails parties, they’re cranking away in their studies. Because they trust the work.
Your brand is as good as your work. I rather have astonishing work than being known.
The best “branding” (I hate that word) is being good, not being known.
Your brand is not your résumé. Your brand is not your work description. Your brand is whatever you did. Was it any good? That’s what people talk about you when you’re not in the room.
Forget about the traffic your site gets. Forget about email openings, retweets, likes, go down the list. Instead, keep track of the right things. The number of handshakes you give won’t make you level up your work—the work itself does.
Trust the work, everything else will take care of itself.