Don’t need $$$ for off-camera flash work – a decent Youngnuo manual flash could work just fine at $75.
My feeling is you have a good eye and some winner shots, you just need to create more ‘pop’ to your photos, if that makes sense. Look at this website for ideas on bringing out the best in your subjects: http://digital-photography-school.com/. I learned much from them when I was starting out.
Plus, post only your best stuff! There are photogs who have portfolios of only 5 or 6 pics. I’m an amateur who shoots for hobby, but I have had a few paid gigs of kids parties – and my “portfolio” consists of 2 shots of my daughter. 🙂