I do understand how frustrating it must be when you can not get land clients on such platforms as Elance and oDesk. I personally do not use oDesk anymore because of the rates being ridiculously low however I started on Elance in January of last year and then built a team of VA's on that platform in order to provide more services to our client.
I think you have to create a proposal that stands out a little bit more. Take some of the skills test, create a short introduction video of yourself so clients can see who you are. I made my proposal very clean and precise. Not too much and nothing less. I wanted them to see the benefits of hiring my team.
Do what works for you but never give up.
Hope this provides you with some encouragement!