We are now in the era that everyone can become an influencer on internet. Some young-old retirees are also interested in this trend. They are serious about making videos and hope to turn themselves into influencers, sharing their experiences and knowledge to the world. One of them is Toby, who is in his 50s and was one of the first batch of students who finished the course of The Salvation Army’s ‘Knowledge Influencer Training Programme’. Outgoing and creative, Toby has created humorous videos that introduce the profession of interior design. His works show that retirees can also be full of energy and well connected with the society.

Expressing ideas on videos
Video making is an essential skill for online influencers. This is also a fun challenge for retirees. Toby was not a beginner of video making; every year for different  festivals he would make some fun videos with his family and send them to their relatives as festival greetings. ‘Before the class I would only do some low-tech special effects, but after the class I have learnt that filming and
editing can be done so professionally. We learnt script writing, directing, filming, editing and how to create and
execute the whole production, which allow us to fully present our ideas. We also learnt many practical skills.
This class was a learning opportunity and challenge and I was so happy to see my achievements.’

Inspirations usually come from daily life. Toby’s first creation was about interior design – the profession in which he had engaged in for over 30 years. Since this area involves a very wide range of professional knowledge, Toby understood that it was quite impossible to catch viewers’ attention in the vast internet if he just presents the content in a straight forward way. He decided to twist it a bit and just be playful. He let go of the image of a professional interior designer and presented the content in a humorous way. ‘The video tries to bring out, in a way with humour and easy to  understand, some practical issues people may encounter when they do interior decoration or renovation, such as things to pay attention when choosing materials. I hope it can provide some useful information for the viewers.’

Many retirees would find themselves at a loss after retirement. Before they were so committed to their work, that once they stopped working they might feel a great sense of emptiness and boredom. Toby has also gone through that stage, so he knows about the importance of continuous learning. Participating in the Programme allowed him to learn something new and re-connect with society or even the globe, making it easier for him to pursue his dreams. ‘With internet, it is now much easier and simpler to start one’s career and  business, or create one’s own brand.’

Purposeful retirement life
The ‘Knowledge Influencer Training Programme’ of The Salvation Army aims to train retirees to be influencers. That means, instead of sharing personal thoughts or daily life happenings, they share with viewers informative knowledge such as their professional knowledge, or useful techniques that can be used in daily life. As retirees have rich life experience and a wide range of knowledge, they have great advantages in sharing those assets online, which may help them to create more opportunities or even new careers. At the same time their know-how can be passed on to the next generation.

Ms. Joyce Ho, the marketing and development manager of the Programme said, ‘After the retirement, retirees can still be active and stay connected with the society. In the Programmer, retirees learn how to create and produce a 3-minute short film, putting their ideas on screen. Our next step will be co-operating with enterprises and innovation and technology companies to help these retirees to run a subscription service, allowing them to have a source of income and a channel to create a new career.’

About ‘Knowledge Influencer Training Programme’
The programme aims to inspire young-old retirees to share with young people and incorporates through online platforms their working experiences, daily life techniques or personal insights, Passing on these intellectual Assets and at the same time earning income. The course of the programme will teach retirees how to build up personal image and run their personal brands, helping them to live with confidence and be active in the society and in their lives.