Adrienne Stortz (@xoxoadrienne) is the creator and host of xoxo cooks, an online cooking show featuring good food you can make at home. She also consults on digital marketing strategy for classical musicians, helping them craft messaging and promote events.

Our conversation discusses the balance between client work and a passion project, how she arrived in both the classical music and online video sectors, and how the premise of experimentation and continual improvement can be powerful for freelancers and businesses alike.

Catch up with Adrienne on her xoxo cooks YouTube Channel, or on her consulting website,

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Show Notes & Links

“Musicians are amazing at what they do, but that doesn't always apply to writing a good email.”

—Adrienne Stortz

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  • Business card with a photo (like a real estate agent)
  • Adrienne is adept at working with “artists”, which includes musicians who don’t always make natural clients
  • Prima donna, a term adopted from Opera
  • Earn1K, a course from Ramit Sethi
  • Adrienne is working to serve up-and-coming musicians, essentially her peers
  • “Layer Cake” pricing vs. three wildly different offerings
  • “Adult Onset Awkwardness” as discussed on The Busy Creator Podcast, Episode 18 with guest Debbie Millman
  • xoxo cooks originated from a desire to master YouTube strategy first-hand
  • An early video from xoxo cooks, admittedly “a little rough” but “still interesting”
  • Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson on Amazon and on Audible
    Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson

“It doesn't matter what business you're in, you're actually in the sales business.”

—Michael Masterson

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  • Collaborate with agents and managers, who are used to marketing language and operations
  • Get people on the phone, ask questions, and talk about their needs
  • Don’t start from scratch; borrow from your earlier proposals
  • Look for custom offerings with clients rather than fit them into packages
  • Use your network! Reach out to former clients and contacts.
  • If you’re interested in something, like a new social network, just start making something
  • Be mindful of your video’s sound — it’s just as important as the lighting or picture quality
  • Plan your content around the calendar (e.g. holidays, seasons)
  • Examine Google Trends to time your content and events
  • Prepare your foods in advance to avoid cutting/chopping on the video


  • Continue to improve, embrace incremental improvement
  • Learn about sales and embrace selling in your own practice
  • Get comfortable with experimentation, being slightly sloppy while putting yourself out there
  • Wake up early and hydrate
  • Avoid caffeine if it makes you insane
  • Clean up the house as part of your wake-up or morning routine

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Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson on Audible

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About the author: Prescott Perez-Fox

Prescott Perez-Fox is a New York-based graphic designer and brand developer with 17+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.

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