Ultimately, a freelancer from the Western world is only going to succeed financially if they can source clients away from sites such as Upwork. That's where the big money lies and where successful relationships are more likely formed.
How do you achieve this? Cold calling and cold emailing now seems to be thought of as committing an atrocious act of spamming and it isn't exactly a great use of time to knock on the door of every local company on the off chance they a) want some work done and b) they happen to use the technology you code in.
What are your methods? One such method I thought about was searching LinkedIn for developers with the same skills I have and build a shortlist of the companies they work for.
As a developer, sales is a pretty nasty world for me. Would be interested to know how fellow dev freelancers go about selling their services and finding clients.