A while back, my chiropractor asked me how I get clients. My response was "Serendipity". That's only partially true though.
If you work hard marketing, networking, getting the word out about your company any way you know how, serendipity kicks in. For example, I sent marketing letters to big-firm attorneys for a year. I didn't get much work from my efforts: two attorneys hired me for errands and another attorney hired me to get a famous artist's signature on his book at a book signing. I did, however, reconnect with a lovely attorney whom I had placed a long time ago, when he was an associate, and who has, since, become a very successful department head at an international law firm. This appreciative contact of mine was kind enough to introduce me to a potential client who, in turn, was thoughtful enough to invite me to a few events where I could meet potential clients. Last year, an attorney for whom I didn't do any work, but with whom I had spoken, a couple of times, referred someone who works with her to me for my medical escorting services. I am certain that if/when this medical escorting client needs this kind of service, again, she will contact me as my other medical escorting clients have hired me more than once.
Another way that I've gotten clients is through a professional network to which I belong. I did a resume for a fellow member's daughter, a Linkedin profile for another member, and was hired, by a third member, for a part-time job as an assistant recruiter for a Fortune 100 company. I've made some wonderful connections through my networking activities: two of whom I've hired for part-time work and one of whom has become a personal friend.
My chiropractor, an angel, has given out my business cards to clients of his who could benefit from my services and, although I haven't, as yet, gotten any clients from his efforts, one of these days, it's bound to happen.
I also keep my eyes open for all kinds of opportunities that interest me. Whether it's volunteering at a golf tournament held at a local country club or doing much less glamorous work, I'm available and willing to do it.
I'm more fortunate than many in that my company provides wide-ranging services, but that's not the point. A small business owner has to view every interaction that he has as a possible business opportunity. He needs to be professional, responsive, kind and caring, especially in my business, so that people will want to hire him. He also has to be good at whatever he's hired to do and be willing to go the extra mile for his clients. Clients have long memories for service providers who have provided more than what they expected.
I don't really believe in luck. I believe that if you work hard and smart, you "get lucky".
People like to hire service people and professionals who are talented, reliable, warm, sincere, trustworthy, and honest. If you're good at what you do and if you possess the aforementioned qualities, the word, eventually, gets out and other people will hire you.
All of this doesn't happen overnight: it takes time and patience. If you put in the effort and have a positive attitude, the clients will come and it will seem to be serendipitous.