I do social media consulting on the side and most of my clients come from networking face to face at events.
I'm wondering how many people do other consultants get right off of the social networks themselves (without having met in person before).
Honestly I get very few any time I start up a new consultancy, though I'm not incredibly social on my networks either. Social media is really for the "long-haul". This is where you want to bring your hard-earned, foot traffic and word-of-mouth clients into your social networks once you've got them.
This keeps them engaged with your company and learning about your future projects. They'll look back and say, "Hey that Garet guy that made our login authentication scripts just made so-and-so a new private cloud, did you know he did that too? Do we need one of those?" Basically you're past customers can see mini-sales pitches in a friendly format by you posting simple tidbits of corporate news. Compare to, for instance, email newsletter marketing.
Getting seed customers however, this is probably more about joining a separately established social network unless you happen to have many folks in your target demographic just waiting on you to form a business.
At the same time, if you get a true growth hacker tweeting out just the right things like mad and you put enough into driving some -real- traffic- (ie organic, well targeted people looking for your service) then you'd certainly get an influx of clients. This is something I'd only do once you've built up a rep for your consultancy, this way you can create a purposeful campaign for newer, premium offerings.