In honor of Women’s History Month, we are highlighting some of the amazing women that we work with as clients and teammates here at TIFIN Content.
Today, we’re highlighting Suzanne Smith, Director of Marketing at EFS Advisors. Suzanne works directly with over 45 advisors and their teams, helping them develop and grow their practices. She also manages the marketing for various strategic partnerships at the firm level, including Education Minnesota and several trade unions. She is a graduate of the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota with a degree in Marketing, wife, mother to two teenage daughters and a handsome Siberian cat named Scout. She also loves anything fitness-related and volunteering at her church and in the community.
TIFIN Content: How did you enter into this career path?
Suzanne: I began my career as a buyer for Target Corporation after graduation. There I worked on several men’s and women’s clothing lines, including brands such as Mossimo and their athletic line C9. After nearly a decade at Target, I decided to make a change to the financial services industry. My brother-in-law was a financial advisor at EFS Advisors and introduced me to the company CEO/President, and together we talked about the need for marketing within their firm and industry. It’s been ten years since I began working at EFS Advisors, and it has been exciting to see marketing become a greater focus for both the company and advisors.
TC: Can you talk about some of the barriers that you’ve faced and how you overcame them?
Suzanne: When I started at EFS Advisors, there was no marketing role or position within the company. It was up to me to prove to the company and the advisors the value marketing could bring to their businesses. Over time, I have been fortunate to work with teams that have allowed me to experiment and explore new marketing opportunities. We have created and implemented proven marketing strategies and practice management initiatives that have helped elevate both the company and the individual advisors’ practices and driven measurable results.
TC: What’s some advice that you would share with younger women?
Suzanne: It’s been said that women typically need to feel 100 percent certain they can do something before tackling it, while men only need to be 60% certain. I would encourage younger women to take more risks and be more confident in their abilities. You tend to rise to the occasion more often than not, and everything is a learning experience, no matter the outcome.
TC: Can you share something that inspires you?
Suzanne: My biggest inspiration is my high school-age daughter, Ava. In elementary school, she was diagnosed with Dyslexia. Since then, she has taken it upon herself to advocate for herself in school, with her peers, and with adults. She inspires me because she doesn’t look at her disability as a roadblock but rather a trait that is just part of who she is and makes no apologies for it. She challenges me to remain true to myself, both personally and professionally.