Actively search for people and businesses who might benefit from your services. Check out their website, get ahold of their contact information, and start cold calling to generate leads. Few freelancers use this direct strategy anymore, and people will be surprised by your professionalism in choosing to cold call. This will help you stand out from the competition.
It's not super popular in the US and not even our favorite messaging app, but you can't ignore the 800-pound messaging gorilla that is WhatsApp—since it was purchased by Facebook for almost $20 billion and it has over a billion users worldwide. It offers end-to-end encryption, has animated GIF support, group chat for up to 256 people, document sharing, voice and video calls, one-tap voice messages, and a Web-based interface you access by scanning a QR code with the app on your mobile device. It recently added macOS and Windows desktop versions.
You don’t need to spend hundreds or thousands on expensive advertisements to get your business noticed on the web. A much more powerful option is leveraging word-of-mouth. Encourage other people (your friends, family, clients, business associates) to talk about your business online and recommend it to others. News will spread about your freelance services much more effectively.
Engaging with Hashtags: Pretty much every social media site uses hashtags. You can connect with like-minded strangers and even find high-quality prospects by using the right hashtags in your posts and engaging with others who’ve used hashtags in their posts. For example, if you sell homes, the hashtag #realestate is full of leads and prospects when you search it. 
Imagine not having the hassle of Windows, but still being able to run (most) Windows programs? That's the goal with ReactOS, which builds on the old Windows NT architecture as an open source operating system. And it only takes a 150MB to install it, so it's small. You can grab it as a full installer, or make a LiveCD version that boots off a disc to give it a try.
With 10GB of free online storage, Box's Personal service now is one of the more robust free offerings. Box also limits file sizes to 250MB each. It does more than sync and have online access; it also offers tools for commenting on or editing documents (it won't replace an office suite like Google Drive, which you'll find below in Office Suites, though it could just as easily go in this category).
Ubuntu updates yearly, once majorly and once with just fixes. But each iteration brings new tools and developments. Last year the Linux distro even made the leap to tablets; that after trying to power smartphones in 2015. The latest version for desktops and laptops comes with a full suite of software (including LibreOffice), access to thousands more (and many free—just look for the penguin icon throughout this story). It's the Linux of choice here at PCMag, for it's one that is easy to master by just about any user.

Too often a business will invest solely in how-to type of content. If you are a social media software company, you may invest in how-to posts as new social media tools become available. These posts can be super helpful, and a business may end up ranking high on search engine result pages (SERPs) with a how-to piece of content. The problem is that there are hundreds of businesses writing the same posts, so the pool of competition is quite large. Secondly, these posts don't age well. Snapchat might update their context cards next week, which would mean marketing teams need to update their posts with new information and new screenshots.


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Got a slew of CBR and CBZ files laying around on your hard drive unread? These compressed files full of scanned-in comic book page images are easy to read with the right software. The right software is ComicRack, because it does a lot more than just display the images—it'll even share the files across your network, and provides full database organization of the comics. Use the Windows version to sync comics to the mobile apps.
Find popular blogs related to your business niche and read their content. Offer insightful, valuable comments to join the conversation. Make sure you use a Gravatar or fill out the site’s profile information with your first name, last name and photo. You shouldn’t overtly promote your business with this strategy, but it is a great way to get your name out there and network with other industry players.
Another perk of buying leads is that your list of leads includes all the information you could possibly need to know about each lead in order to work to convert them. These leads will come with contact information and data insight about what they are looking for so you can have more luck targeting and converting each individual lead. This is especially helpful if you do not yet have lead management and tracking software to help you with data acquisition and analytics services to provide you with this information.

Freeflys: Another strong contender in the freebies space, Freeflys has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, The Doctors, Fox News and a handful of other media outlets. Similar to most of these sites, Freeflys utilizes email alerts to tell users about free-sample offers as they happen. The site also allows you to search for a specific product with the handy search bar.

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