I know that most of us feel marketing is slimy. It feels as if we regularly go around telling everyone how awesome we are. Over time we may begin to feel like our heads will barely fit in any room we enter.
Let me ask you a question, though:
If you don’t tell anyone what you’re awesome at, how can you expect anyone to hire you for your awesome skill?
If you want to stay busy with quality work that suits your skills then you can’t just rely on random chance. Sure, random chance get you some clients, but it’s not going to get you the awesome clients you really want who are the best match for your specific skills.
Random chance will get you clients that are tangentially related to your work -- not ideal clients, but related enough so that you don’t feel you can turn them down. Also, you need money so you can’t really turn them down.
But the more of these clients you take, the more you'll find yourself sitting down with your freelance friends and complaining about being stuck with clients you don’t love, doing work that doesn’t perfectly suit you.
The thing is, this is your problem. You got yourself in this situation. You own it, and if you want it to change you need to make a change in how you market yourself. For many of you, you simply need to start doing real marketing -- actions beyond randomly tweeting about things you find interesting.
Most of you need to start blogging.
You need to start going to networking events where the attendance isn't limited to people you already know.
You need to take charge and do something about the problem.
Complaining about it will change nothing.