Interesting. Not my experience at all so am a tad surprised. I don't do any networking really but the phone seems to be ringing. Don't you think quality of work is all that matters?
Perhaps I'm being naive.
Well I think that quality of work is pretty much taken as read.
You may have a track record that brings in / back customers. The OP appears to be starting out and presumably has no such history. Once you're established with a proven record, then there's a certain amount of 'word of mouth' referrals.
Why not tell us your story (in general terms)?