Internet forums and viral marketing
In addition to Freelance UK's forum, for each market sector, there are trade-specific and industry body sites that you can use to research your work and market area. Quite often these will have message boards and forums where professionals can swap ideas and information. These are also excellent networking tools and answering other user's questions can mark you out as an industry expert. They can also help attract leads and 'sub-contract' work from others in your area who may have more work than they can physically cope with.
Viral marketing capitalises on the power of 'word of mouth' recommendation - the sought after accolade of the marketing world.
Our friends and colleagues approval of a marketing message carries the additional clout of endorsement. Get the marketing right, and once it's out in the wild it can spread exponentially with little further effort.
The internet is the home for viral marketing; with email, blogs and social networking sites your messages can 'piggyback' on a variety hosts without cost. One media company states that 'viral marketing in its simplest form is just referral marketing transferred to the internet.'
The hard part is devising an intelligent campaign that fits with the brand of your company. Viral marketing doesn't have to be gimmicky videos, if you're focussing on a core market, then your 'viral agent' need only be a message on your own website that is provocative or enticing enough to prompt visitors to pass the URL of that page on to others that would be interested. So whatever format your viral marketing takes, do make it as easy as possible for people to spread the word, such as 'share with a friend' links.
More on sales and marketing as a freelancer.