I'm just getting started with a consulting business and don't have any clients or personal network I can tap into to get the ball rolling.
Is it ok to cold-reach potential customers that fit my demographic and try to pitch them our consulting services?
Would it be viewed as spam even if I write each email myself and tailor it to their business?
Yes. You can go ahead and call your potential customers.
You just need to have a powerful script to have a higher conversion.
Regarding to your other question, you can avoid the spam folder by the following guidelines...
1.) Just limit the use of risky words such as free, buy and promo.
2.) Email size should not exceed to 30 KB.
3.) Balance the image-to-text ratio of the email that you are going to send.
4.) Avoid Dirty Tricks like starting the subject line with RE: or FWD: to pretend that there's an ongoing communication with the sender.