You don’t need schooling to be a designer, plain and simple. Don’t let that be a hurdle. I taught myself how to design in middle school and haven’t stopped since then. I drew everything I wanted to design with pencils and Sharpie markers in my early days and then got a copy of Photoshop 3.0 from a friend and taught myself how to use that as well. The only thing you really need to be a designer is the passion to want to do it. That’s it. Everything else is easy.
The great thing about being a designer is that most of the tools you need are in your head. The rest is just production.
Now’s the perfect time to start building your online presence. Luckily these days all you really need to do is be VERY persistent on social media and people will start paying attention whether they like it or not. The days of cold calls are long gone unfortunately (and fortunately) so I’m not surprised you’re not getting much of a response.
Honestly, your best bet these days is to create a personal project or two and promote the hell out of it. People want to see what you’re capable of and if you’re able to come up with something really unique, or at the very least executed well, then it will be a great way to start turning some heads. Show the world that you’re a one-stop shop for doing great work and then they’ll start emailing you.
The whole process will take more work, but in the long run it will not only garner more attention, but it will make you a stronger designer and project manager as well.