One of the biggest problems freelancers run into is knowing their own self worth. I haven't seen your portfolio, but it's likely that you are undervaluing your service. Most freelancers do. This usually starts because you get low ball offers from clients and prospects.
Make Sure Your Prospect Has Money
It's easy to feel like you're not doing well as a freelancer when you constantly "over-bid" or your proposal is "too expensive." Sometimes this is true, but more than often, the prospect just doesn't have the cash to afford you.
Most of the projects on eLance/oDesk are in the $10/hr range, but not all (Believe it or not, there are some very good projects on these sites).
Three Strategies For Building Your Client List:
Network Locally. Search sites like Meetup, and ask your colleagues and friends for networking groups that meet on a weekly or monthly basis. I've earned thousands of dollars in freelance gigs through networking groups, and even found a project that has been my favorite thus far. People will usually pay more for your services when they meet you face to face. Also, you'll be able to get an idea of who can afford you and who can't.
Target Small Businesses. This is a great target client because they usually have a budget for side projects, and you can add serious value because they have an existing customer base. Not sure which business to ask first? Think of twenty to thirty businesses in your area and come up with ten ideas for each business. They DON'T all have to be original. Email, mail, or even hand deliver them to the business owners or the store/office. They probably will hate your ideas, but that's okay. They'll like your initiative, and you'll gain a premium client.
Search Online. You'd be surprised what opportunities searching Twitter for "iOS freelancer" can lead to. People are always looking for developers. Find people with Klout in the iOS community and follow them on Twitter, friend them on Facebook, and check out their Instagram. Get to know them and engage with them. It's the friendliest community. I've seriously made some good friends by doing this.
If you do those three things, you'll absolutely find business. Selling yourself is the most important skill of a freelance developer, not your development skills. Odd isn't it.
We're working on Curated leads for developers. If you're interested, please check it out. It's quality leads delivered to your inbox three times a week. Just last Friday we sent out over $100,000 in potential client projects.