Self-promotion is vital if you want to stay connected with people you've worked for, and reach out to and impress others.
I don't personally do this as often as I should, but when I do, I want something that'll get a response from creative directors. For 2010, I teamed up with Sticker Robot out of California, and Vahalla Studios out of Missouri. Both vendors do high-quality silk-screen work, which really gives my self-promo that extra kick.
So how do you create something that sticks around on clients' desks as a reminder of you? Many designers neglect to think about this aspect, and their work is shuffled down to the bottom of a drawer and forgotten about. There should always be inspirational value in the work you show, and it should feature your own personal techniques that set you apart. This year's challenge was to produce something that will stick with a potential client and get them excited enough to develop a further relationship.