Trying to gain clients when you're just branching out under your own name can seem impossible. I recently spoke to a friend who had some great advice for those starting out -
1. Develop your portfolio as a priority.
2. The main place you are marketing yourself these days is on the internet so make sure your SEO is up to scratch. Use the right keywords in your website headings, make as many links back to your homepage as possible, and blog! updating your website regularly tells google that your website is active and therefore relevant, meaning it will appear towards the top of the list of google results much faster.
3. Network. Network. Network. talk to friends of friends, be a nice person, work your exciting new adventure into every conversation. Get your friends to be your cheerleaders.
In my recent experience, cold calling is brutal. You need to have low expectations or you will become disheartened very quickly. Perhaps 1 out of 100 businesses will be receptive to your call and agree to look at your portfolio. But if you didn't call your success rate would be 0 out of 100. So get out there.