When I gave a talk last week for the NY Chapter of the Graphic Artists Guild, I, of course, extolled the virtues of having a clear answer to the question, "What do you do?" (what we usually call the 10-word blurb).
A couple of attendees, who are not yet doing their creative work full time, said they often feel compelled to answer the question truthfully; in other words, to talk about their "day job."
You don’t have to tell "the whole truth and nothing but the truth." While I am absolutely not advocating deception, I do suggest you carefully construct (with marketing in mind) an answer that will lead you in the direction you’re headed, and answer that will help you build your part time or freelance business into something more substantial, if that’s what you want.
That’s what I love about being in business for myself: I get to decide (almost) everything, including how to answer the question, "What do you do?"
So even if most of your working hours are spent as a legal secretary, when someone asks what you do, talk instead about the work you want to do more of. That’s the only way to get the word out about it and to find out if the people you’re talking to are clients and prospects.