Some of us like to promote, some of us struggles on how to promote but all of us wants to promote. The "whats" and the "whys" are as important as the "hows" of self-promotion.
I am not a shy person but I definitely had my moments when I tell myself I am not great in self-promoting. I know that there are many talks about the different between a good illustrator and a successful illustrator is self-promotion. One thing I am always sure about is that we can improve in our self-promotion.
Here is how I did it:
1) Have your name on your website.
When I started, I thought of using pet name or nick-name. It works for Banksy (see http://banksy.co.uk/ ) and many others. For me, after much thinking, I like having a direct approach. That is subtle enough for me. It frees others to find me.
2) Keep your clients engage.
I am getting better at this. Having a schedule to upload new images and designs on a weekly basis on social media is important. People likes to sense your presence on your website.
3) Ability to describe your work in words as well in images.
Many of us believe that image is enough. In most cases, that is true but having a text to describe our conceptual idea and process, the clients are able to appreciate and understand how we deride the image.
4) Think yourself as a brand.
Having a consistent unique and creative flair of our own helps us to brand our work. Whenever clients sees the boldness of the colours to the typography we used, they understand us better.
5) Lastly be a people - person.
Having a professional attitude toward work is important. I learn to listen and understand others' point of view. They, in turn, will trust me more.