When setting up your company or deciding to ‘go at it alone’ there would have been a reason, or an objective, for doing so. Either your knowledge or skills bring greater financial rewards if you are self-employed, or you wish to create a more harmonious work/life balance.
The same is true of marketing yourself, there really needs to be some thought-through objectives. Marketing embraces all forms of promoting that business, from PR to word of mouth and ultimately the point of marketing is usually to generate more profit. The objectives of various campaigns to achieve that level of profit may be to attract, or increase a certain target audience, either by sector or geographically. It may be to sell more of a service to existing customers. Or your current marketing campaign may be to sell a certain element of your work to a certain type of company to build your niche portfolio so that you can raise your charges.
Within your overall objective of targeting a certain industry, you should therefore also focus on defining the reason and desired response for every single marketing communication you make. For instance, too many promotional emails are sent without enough thought on what the objective of that email is. If you are you following up after a networking event for instance, what do you want to achieve? Do you want the recipient to act or do something? Do you want them to remember you when you call in 2 months time?
Social media needs to be part of every successful business' marketing strategy, whether this is a for a one-man/woman-band freelancer or a giant corporation, a social media presence is key. It can help you connect with potential customers/clients and ensure that you are present. Social media can also be a great place to start building your brand and showing an audience what your business is all about.
As well as focussing your efforts, setting benchmarks also allows you to measure the success of the direction you take, meaning you can review and change tack if it's not paying off.
In summary of the bigger picture, and based on your market research, you'll need to define a strategy for growing your business and by setting objectives and then a plan of how you are going to achieve those goals, you'll gain a very clear idea of where you want to be and how you're going to get there.
More on sales and marketing as a freelancer and becoming a freelance marketer.