Respond as soon as you get a request (or as soon as you see it) and don't just send them to another website. I was recently told by my client (who hired me from Thumbtack) that part of the reason she chose me was because I responded immediately and I offered her a free phone consultation instead of just directing her to another website. I offer every potential new client a free 15 minute phone consultation so we can decide if we would be a good fit for each other. This also gets all of their questions answered in one call and it makes the whole experience more personal.
@carrieagroff in your field, like mine, I think this free consultation is a great plan. I find the personal approach, and making sure that the client and I are a good fit, has better overall results than trying to start working together without some sort of connection first.
Shareen Mann Freelance writer and editor with The Write Mann, LLC