We had the good fortune of connecting with Samantha Markey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Samantha, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Coffee. Can coffee be a factor in brand success? For me, yes, it has certainly kept me going on long days, gotten me out of bed, and provided that needed afternoon pick me on more often than anything else has. I have made more adult friendships through a coffee date than any other way I can think of. All that is true of course but really I am thinking more about attitude. Have you ever heard the story about the carrot, the egg, and the coffee bean? No? Well, the short version is that when introduced to boiling water, AKA life. The carrot goes in strong and comes out weak, the egg goes in weak and comes out strong but the bean goes in and it changes the water itself. Making the water fragrant, flavorful, and amazing. I first heard this when I was a teenager and it really made me think, not about coffee per se but if I was going to let the world affect me or if I was going to affect the world. I knew then I wanted to be like the bean. Years later when I heard it again I reflected on how as an adult I see every day how people choose to respond to things happening around them and how that ultimately shapes their happiness, success, and impact on the world around them. The ability to adapt to the world around me so that I can give back more than I take from it. To mean that means learning from the hard times and then leaving the negativity were it belongs so I can make a positive impact on the people around me.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am a professional brand photographer & social media coach, I am passionate about helping others learn the visual marketing strategies they need to be successful in marketing their business online. As a brand photographer, I completely understood that even with unique and beautiful brand images many of my clients still struggling with marketing their business’ online. Then Covid hit and they had to! Social media was not a part of the plan originally, it was just something I did well and had years of practice with from my day job in hotel sales. However, while everyone else was trying to figure out the next steps I decided one way I could help was to write a book on visual marketing. Sure, the hope was that it would help me boost my credibility as a brand photographer but it was also going to be a tool to help business owners be heard over all the noise online. The strangest thing happened though, it was as if everything started to click in a way it had not before in my business. As silly as it may sound it was as if I had found the missing puzzle piece that my business had been needing. So it became my mission to help small businesses leverage their social media for their marketing more effectively. I know that adding social media coaching and management to my business has made my photography business a powerful visual marketing tool that every small business owner needs. My book “Shut up & Show me” An entrepreneur’s guide to visual marketing took a back burner as I developed tools and workshops I thought would have a bigger more immediate impact on the now mostly virtual world. It is still in the works though and I am so excited to get it published. It isn’t about easy or hard, every day there are challenges it is the attitude in which you choose to respond to them that determines if they were opportunities or problems. I mean I have been working around the clock on this while guiding a middle schooler through virtual learning and still working my day job in hotels, which I am sure I don’t have to tell you, has been a mess. I have never been more exhausted or exhilarated at the same time. The last year has been a rollercoaster for the whole world but I know that I have come out of the hot water and our future smells like my morning cup of hustle juice.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We love living near Denver, originally from upstate NY, we have a fondness for the mountains. Having the mountains and the city so close to each other is a joy. When we have friends come to visit it is always a day in the city for Little Man Ice cream, Union Station, RiNo’s Art District and the only amusement park I know of that is inside a city like Eliches. Then it is off to the mountains, hiking St. Mary’s is a must, maybe one of the hot springs, and with any luck a new adventure awaits just around the corner.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I love that Shoutouts’ mission is recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love, and encouragement of others because it is so true. I have been blessed with people who have believed in me when I couldn’t, pushed me when I was procrastinating, cheered me on when I was in need and all of them have played a role in my success. It would take too long to recognize even the top 10 percent of those amazing people but I can say the most consistent person in my life is my husband, Thor. My high school sweetheart and hubby of 20 years, has always supported every ambition, even when it meant moving across the country and occasionally struggling with finances because I plugged every penny I could into my passion.
Youtube: Smantha Markey Photography