One of the most common ways of getting new projects for a freelancer is networking:
- keeping in contact with previous co-workers and customers
- participating in something like StackOverflow
- going to conferences
However, if you contact new people, you mainly show your knowledge (vs problem solving skills). As example, when you answer on Stack Overflow, most of the times you just write an answer. It's not obvious whether you spend solving this problem a year or two days, whether you had five solutions and it was the best one or it's just first thing which you stumbled on.
Other part of equation is that usually customers are looking for somebody who has "N years in a technology M and X years in a technology Y", which is again knowledge based requirement.
As an example, there were many cases where I was able to solve quite tricky problems in a very short period of time, whereas different "expert(s)" failed to do so. However, in the best case, half a dozen of the people (who directly worked with me) knew that the particular problem in question was complex, and that the solution was rather quickly implemented.
I believe a lot of consultants whose main skill is problem solving have the same problem.
So, the question is:
- How can I better promote my problem solving skills instead of my technical knowledge?