Take on pro bono projects for charities you respect, shitty lower-paying clients and launch a side project that demonstrates your skills in a real world use cases.
Work into every conversation that you're a freelance designer. It's a big deal.
My last piece of advice is to network with quality people. Stay far way from the insurance agents and MLM'ers; they're looking for the quick sale and they will connect you with people that want the same. Make it a point to get to know _business owners_ and people that call the shots--the ones writing the checks.
Oh, yeah. One more thing: This isn't gonna be easy. So, good luck! :)