I think that anyone who doesn’t self-promote is missing a big opportunity to demonstrate their creativity and range of work. While I’d agree that word of mouth and recommendations are by far my most productive means of getting new clients, word of mouth passes along only what you do, creative self-promotion extends that – it passes on what you are CAPABLE of doing. Why should a client have faith in our abilities if we don’t advertise ourselves? “Physician heal thyself,” as the saying goes.
Personally, I have a special fondness for self promotion. I can develop promotional ads without pressure at my leisure – generally basing the content and direction on inspired themes and imagery. I find them cathartic – free to create them the way that I WANT without the burdens of client constraints and direction and sometimes will create something just to “cleanse my palette” and recharge my creative juices if I find myself feeling stifled with frustrating client demands. I am always pleased with the results, and many have been award winners.