Too many freelancers spend their time in places where their clients aren't. Designers will hang out on Dribble, and developers hang out on Hacker News. Even entrepreneurs have their watering hole, and sometimes that's Linkedin, HBR.org, or Entrepreneur.com. But if you are a freelancer, and you are looking to meet clients, then you need to go where the clients are. You don't 'go a fishin' in a wheat field.
So who are your preferred clients?
And where do they hang out?
If you don't know the answers to these two questions take a moment to think these through. Then, once you know the answer just simply go where they hang out. And when you get there, make sure you talk about their problems, and it's likely that you'll be able to solve them.
For me, I used to try to lure clients with free reviews, or send out cold calls, but none of those have worked so well. But I've had better success going to places where my potential clients hang out. I realized that my preferred clients often hangout at business networking events, and that is exactly what I started doing. There's a local entrepreneurship meetup near me, and my first night there I knew that I was in the right place. I was one of the only developers there, and it's a powerful thing to be a developer in the midst of non-technical entrepreneurs.
So find out who your preferred customer is, and then find out where they spend their time. If you can figure this out, you'll be well on your way to helping them solve their problems. And remember, people pay good money for solutions to their problems.