Tips from an ID two months after moving to full time as a freelancer. I do think a portfolio is critical, especially for those just starting in the field or changing from another career. Having an active online presence and continuous learning are also great tips.
First hand experience from someone who has used multiple different sites and techniques to find freelance clients. I think the cold contacts really only works because she put in so much effort researching and targeting specific companies with customized messages; I doubt generic cold contacts would have done as much for her.