Thanks for the reply Maria. By the sound of it, you’re already doing much of what I’d suggest. Reaching out to friends, family, colleagues, and your local community is a great place to start. You’ll build far better relationships that way than you would working on Upwork, and create a foundation for a successful freelance career.
Make sure you’re operating in the most professional way possible. Be reliable. Communicate well. Be transparent in your time and pricing. Always over deliver. This is what will make your clients refer others to you.
You mentioned cold emailing. Coincidentally I’m working on an article right now on my proven process for successfully cold emailing your dream clients. Keep an eye out for that one it will probably be done sometime next week.