Every business needs to get work through the door, but the livelihood of the solo freelancer depends on it. Work for a freelancer comes really based on building your reputation for quality work. Without good business marketing you’re probably not going to be brining in the work you want and it’s going to take a long time to build the business up to something sustainable (it if even happens).
Speckboy has a decent list of things to do to gain exposure. I’ve tried most of them and while I certainly can’t deny that the strategies have worked for others, I had little succes.
Lists like this just round up what has worked for others since ‘it worked’! What they fail to take in to account is all the work that was done previous to the list item. 37Signals had a succesful blog and a bunch of applications out. DHH wrote Ruby on Rails. Him or his company were not unknown, that has to be a contributing factor.
I’m certainly not opposed to any of the items on the list, but they aren’t magically going to get you exposure. These business marketing ideas are just steps that may help bring business in.