I've already established a good amount of work on my portfolio and I feel confident enough to reach out to clients myself. I was wondering if any of you actually go out there and directly contact, say, restaurants and other local businesses in your area and make proposals.
If you are looking for contract work, start where the other consultants are, go to Meetup groups around software development and/or startups and offer your services that way. All the local consultants know all the other local consultants. It's not an ocean. If you can befriend some of them, it will go a long way. Usually when one consultant starts one place, they bring in a few more of their friends if it's a decent size project.Besides meeting other consultants, going out to sites like indeed, monster, stackoverflow, etc, places where companies are advertising looking for devs, reach out and ask if they are open to working with consultants/contractors. This goes double for people at Meetups or conferences. Anyone who is "hiring" is a potential contract opportunity.