When I began Made by Munsters nearly eight years ago (purely freelance and under a different name at the time), I didn't have any clients and very little skills. I was just starting out in web design, so finding work was difficult.
Before gathering a steady client base, I needed to prove myself. My first client I discovered on Craigslist. And while I got paid around $.50 an hour for the work I did on that first project, it led to many new opportunities.
People say "word of mouth" helps drive business, and after doing this for that long, I firmly believe it.
The client was impressed with the completed work, and recommended me to their friends and other colleagues who needed similar things done. Once a client feels confident in your work, they will become your biggest supporter, helping validate your skills and send you new jobs.
Now it might feel sleazy using your connections to find additional work. However, it is this tight network that will continue to grow and keep your business afloat.
Since that first client, we've worked with many different individuals and companies who have done the same thing to keep our business flourishing. After proving we can complete the work on time, within budget, and with exceptional design and development, they can share their wonderful experience with others who are in need of our services.
Developing long-term relationships with people you've worked with in the past can help generate more business. It's amazing how often I get calls from customers or colleagues I've worked with years ago asking if we are still doing design and development. They call because they have a "friend" or know of someone looking to have something completed.
So whether you've started a full-scale business or are continuing to freelance, keep building your network of trusted sources close to your work. They can speak of the quality with confidence, and help generate additional business for you in the future.