I'm a graphic designer and I've been running my own business for around six months alongside a web developer. Until now I've been surviving off work I've gained through referrals or word of mouth. Unfortunately this has started to dry up over the last month or two and for the first time I'm finding myself really needing to pull in some new work on my side of the business. The way I was thinking of approaching this was through sending cold emails to local businesses. I have a list I compiled from researching small local retail businesses and another from business cards I have collected at various networking events. I also plan to make another database of companies, the idea being to target a few types of companies I have had experience either designing for or actually working within that industry in the past. I have seen a few approaches. Some people tend to send a polite initial email asking to be put in touch with the person responsible for outsourcing any web or graphic design work. Others research a company in depth and try to target the email to a specific person who may be able to put work their way. Also, I'm not sure whether to go in with a short introduction email with work examples saying who we are and what we do, or go straight in with a full on marketing email with graphics, or attached flyer outlining the services we offer? I've considered cold calling too, but this seems invasive and annoying to me. I tend to switch off when I sense a person trying to sell to me on the other end of the line. I guess there's no one simple answer to this question, but if anyone has any bright ideas or any other effective way of generating leads I'd love to hear them. Thanks!