I do not think there is any "best way" so to speak. Getting clients takes many different tasks to achieve. You just need to get out there an advertise. Offer something different... work with a busy site and host it for free for advertising. Word of mouth is always a good way but you first need the clients on the server to spread the word.
Advertise in your local market. Many local folks like to deal with a local business first. Advertising rates are cheaper and the market is not as competitive as on the WWW. Define your target group and develop a marketing strategy. Don't spray your marketing dollars all over the place - be on target.
I agree with those who say concentrate on your local market. By concentrating locally you can approach potential clients directly. Do flyers and other mailing campaigns. Approach local web design houses and computer related businesses. Build a rapport locally. The local clients will eventually result in a larger national and international exposure as you will have the income to be abole to properly advertise yourself.