You've heard the old marketing slogan, "You've got to spend money to make money." There's even some truth to that. At the bare minimum, you should have a website and a stack of business cards, and yeah, you'll have to pay for those.
When it comes to calling people's attention to your wonderful freelance writing business, however, you don't have to have a marketing budget like a Fortune 500 company. All you need is a little creativity and a lot of nerve.
Here are some ideas that have helped me.
1. Leave Business Cards Everywhere
Since business cards are pretty cheap, I've gotten into the habit of leaving a few wherever I go. I even stick one into the envelope when I pay a bill.
My best business card strategy, however, was diabolically simple. I went to the business section of the library and slipped one of my cards into every book. I especially focused on topics like "how to write a resume" or "how to write a business letter." Believe it or not, I've netted some business this way.
2. Take Advantage of Social Media
No, I'm not your mom. I'm not going to lecture you on why you should cozy up with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. My only two comments are that 1) They're free; and 2) Thousands of people use them. 'Nuff said.