Coming from the music field, I have to say that there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, that comes close to the success of word of mouth. Maybe getting on tv, but I don't know anything about that arena.
See, I think as artists, we are always striving to be better. Part of that striving to be better is really saying, deep down, that there's a part of our craft that we'd like to improve. And if it has room for improvement, it's not perfect.
I always say that art is striving for unattainable perfection.
And so, when I'm selling myself, that little voice in me is always thinking, "But this part isn't so great. This bit could have been better. I could do that a lot better." It brings out all my fears and insecurities and worries.
Because I don't want to misrepresent myself, and if I have just the teensiest little fault, I hate to say, "Buy me, I'm good."
As Tess Gerritsen said, "Pimping for one's friends is a lot easier than pimping for oneself!"
It's so much easier to gush enthusiastically about a friend that you know kick's ass at their craft. It's so much more honest and you don't have to push away your own insecurities.
That's not to say that one SHOULDN'T be able to sell their own stuff. It's just not a skill I'm all that good at.
My point, though, is that I've spent most of my career getting other people gigs, rather than myself. I can think of ONE gig that I got myself, for myself. It just doesn't work that way.
I don't know if it's karma, or what, but you can't go wrong, pimping others. What goes around, comes around, and there is plenty of room for everyone.