Michelle Greer had a post on her blog recently titled "Are People Just Fatigued By Your Brand?" where she discussed the problem many face if they are working too hard to be "everywhere". She argues that people would be better off to say no to networking events, speaking gigs, conference attendance, etc... while getting lots of sleep and hang out with friends.
Her point is that if you are over exposed people could become fatigued with your omnipresence. She warns against getting the world as sick of you "as they are as they are of the five pound box of Honey Bunches of Oats that they bought from Costco four months ago." (I am imagining her pantry full of bulk purchases).
Michelle is right, you have to find a balance. Not going to every event will not make you invisible. However, there is a fine line between doing too much, and not doing enough. It is really about the results you desire to achieve.
I recently had a conversation with an aspiring professional speaker who was curious how I had been asked to speak 47 times in 2008 and 53 times in 2009. I talked about my networking activities and social media participation as a key to the growth of my business. She argued that she did not have the time nor the interest in that much networking (in person or online) and then listed all the things about social media that she views as a waste of time. This person questioned if my activities might not lead to my becoming over-exposed, and justified her lack of participation as a way of protecting her brand (Huh?).
My worry about Michelle's post is that it gives permission to those who are more introverted to avoid putting themselves out there to establish their brand. If they hide for too long they run the risk of not becoming known at all in their business community, and thus missing opportunities. (Michelle and a reader do address this in the comments section of her post).
True that once you are established in your industry you can be more selective about your attentiveness to creating visibility, but you cannot avoid it on the way up. While someone should not go crazy with networking and brand building (to the detriment of the rest of your life), you must invest the time and efforts up front if you want the rewards that come on the other side.
Have A Great Day.