Suzan Hall, a 56-year-old empty nester, defied expectations by embarking on a new career as a content creator. Through her authentic and joyful approach, she has built a supportive community on Instagram, resonating with women over 50.
Despite challenges and stereotypes, Suzan advocates for inclusivity and more opportunities for content creators in her age group, emphasizing the power and influence of the over-50 demographic.
Overcoming Stereotypes: Suzan’s Impact On The Over-50 Age Group
Personal Background and Journey as an Influencer
Suzan Hall’s journey began when her daughter, a brand influencer, introduced her to the world of social media influencers. Suzan started on TikTok, initially using the automated voice feature due to nervousness.
However, as she grew more comfortable, she found her voice and started creating authentic content. During a live session, she discovered her niche when discussing Gen X nostalgia and 70s TV shows. Suzan reflects, “Once I got off that life, I said, okay, well, that’s my niche… I really enjoy talking about that.” Her early posts were experimental and silly, but they gave her confidence and helped her express herself. Suzan’s journey is a testament to embracing new skills and reinventing oneself, regardless of age.
Balancing Personal Authenticity and Relatability in Her Content
Suzan’s authentic and confident approach has resonated with her audience, leading to positive engagement. She values the supportive community she has built on Instagram and celebrates women her age trying new things and supporting each other.
However, she acknowledges the underutilization and misunderstanding of content creators in their 50s by some brands. Suzan believes the power and influence of the over-50 demographics should be recognized.
To maintain a balance between authenticity and broad appeal, Suzan stays true to herself and prioritizes having fun. She cherishes the connection with her followers through their comments and takes breaks when the fun diminishes. Her supportive husband contributes to her content creation journey. Suzan’s content has created a space where women over 50 feel seen and valued.
Content Creation Process
Suzan finds inspiration for her Instagram content in nostalgia, especially the music and pop culture of the 70s and 80s. She believes it brings people back to happy times and evokes positive emotions. She incorporates songs and personal memories to create a joyful experience for her audience, as she believes that nostalgia can have a positive impact on mental health.
What challenges or opportunities do you think content creators in the over-50 age group face in today’s digital landscape, and how have you navigated those challenges in your journey?
Suzan recognizes the challenges faced by creators in her age group. She believes that clothing brands should be more inclusive and consider the fashion sense and desires of older consumers. Suzan advocates for more opportunities for her age group and emphasizes the presence of fashionable women over 50. She highlights the importance of inclusive representation in the industry.
Has the pandemic impacted your content creation and engagement with your audience? If so, how have you adapted your content to meet the changing needs of your followers during this time?
The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on Suzan’s content creation journey. Reflecting on the lockdown, she realizes that she missed the opportunity to discover TikTok and believes that many people, especially those over 50, became content creators during that time.
Suzan states, “I think a lot of people probably gained a lot of popularity during that time. So I did miss the boat with that. I wish I had discovered it then.” She acknowledges that she had only used Facebook before the pandemic.
Suzan’s experience sheds light on the surge of content creation and engagement on social media platforms during the pandemic. Although she may have missed the initial momentum, her perspective demonstrates the growth and influence of the creator economy. The pandemic served as a catalyst, prompting individuals of all ages to embrace social media and digital platforms as avenues for self-expression and connection.
What role do you believe social media platforms like Instagram play in fostering community and connection for individuals in the over-50 age group?
When discussing the role of social media platforms like Instagram in fostering community and connections for individuals in the over 50 age group, Suzan shares her positive experience with Instagram. She states, “I love how they support creators. I feel heard and supported in the over 50 Gen X community.” She appreciates the platform’s support and the sense of community she has found on Instagram. Suzan also mentions that she recently started a YouTube channel but mainly focuses on Instagram at the moment.
Regarding why Instagram resonated with her more than TikTok, Suzan explains, “I just felt like the community I ended up with there. They’re much more supportive. I just felt like it clicked… It resonated better with me.” While she acknowledges that figuring out Instagram was not necessarily easier, she found a more supportive community aligned with her interests.
Have you encountered any specific stereotypes or misconceptions about the over-50 age group in content creation, and how do you address them through your content?
Suzan shares that she rarely encounters stereotypes or mean comments about the over-50 age group in her content. While she occasionally receives comments like “Hey, grandma,” she laughs it off and blocks them without addressing them. She hasn’t experienced a lot of negative comments overall and finds that people in her demographic are generally nice.
She also mentions that since many are retired, they have more time to engage with her content and leave comments, which she finds helpful and enjoyable.
What strategies or tactics have you found to be most effective in growing and engaging your Instagram following within the over 50 Gen-X community?
Suzan reflects on her journey and shares, “When I first started, I would say ‘Hi, how are you?’ in my videos, but I’ve learned that’s ineffective. You have to get to the point quickly and have a clear message. I also make sure to end with a call to action. I’ve learned these strategies along the way.”
She further explains, “I try to do it in a very authentic way that works for me and is entertaining. That’s important to me. I want my content to resonate with my audience and provide value to them.”
Suzan’s commitment to authenticity and entertainment has helped her connect with her followers. She adds, “I think people appreciate that I’m genuine. I share my experiences and insights honestly, which seems to resonate with them.”
Can you share with us a memorable experience or interaction you’ve had with one of your followers that truly highlighted the impact of your content on their lives?
Suzan shares her memorable experiences with her followers, saying, “The biggest compliment to me is when someone tells me that my videos make their day, make them laugh, or make them smile. When people express their love for what I do and consider me their favorite, it boosts my confidence and motivates me to continue.”
She further emphasizes the supportive community she has built, stating, “There’s a group of women that I feel like I’ve gotten virtually close to. We communicate through messaging and support each other. It’s a very nice feeling. When I see one of them doing something like promoting a brand, I’m always supportive, and they reciprocate that support.”
Suzan also appreciates the genuine kindness of her followers, remarking, “Some of the followers are just really genuinely nice people. They follow because they genuinely enjoy the content. It’s been great to connect with such wonderful individuals.”
These interactions with her followers validate the positive impact her content has on their lives and reinforce Suzan’s commitment to creating meaningful and enjoyable content for her community.
In your opinion, how do you think the creator economy will evolve in the coming months?
Suzan admits, “I’m not really sure. I think it’s only going to continue to grow. New sites will likely pop up. YouTube seems to be pushing shorts now, so I’m trying to jump on that bandwagon since I felt like I missed the TikTok trend during COVID.”
She acknowledges the ever-changing nature of the creator economy, stating, “We never know. It’s constantly changing and growing, so it’s hard to predict. I certainly can’t predict it.”
Suzan remains adaptable and open to exploring new platforms and trends in the creator economy. She is focused on rolling with the changes, having fun, and embracing the unpredictable nature of the industry.
Are there any emerging trends or content formats that you believe will gain prominence in the near future?
Suzan admits, “I don’t know. I just go with the flow and focus on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. However, I do think AI will come into play, but I can’t see it replacing the authenticity of a real experience with a person. It’s exciting to think about what’s going to happen next.”
She acknowledges the contrasting opinions on AI, with some finding it scary and others seeing it as an exciting tool for content creation. Suzan mentions that she doesn’t focus on predicting future trends extensively, as she’s more focused on enjoying herself and having fun with the content she creates. She shares that she feels good at what she does, evidenced by brands requesting more content from her and her involvement in background acting on shows like “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “And Just Like That,” the “Sex and the City” reboot. Suzan remains open to exploring different potential opportunities and continues to enjoy her creative journey.
As a content creator with a significant following, what responsibilities do you have towards your audience, particularly in promoting authenticity and positive messaging?
Suzan stresses the importance of authenticity and positive messaging to her audience. She feels responsible towards her followers and believes being true to oneself is essential. She states, “I feel that I have a responsibility to people… It would come off as phony if I tried to be anyone other than myself.” Suzan values genuine connections and believes that authentic content resonates with people.
When it comes to brand partnerships, Suzan remains selective and authentic. She rarely shares brand content on her page and only collaborates with brands that share her values. She explains, “If I don’t really align with their values, I won’t do it… I try to keep it authentic.” She prefers to let brands approach her rather than actively seeking collaborations, prioritizing enjoyment and ensuring that brand partnerships don’t overshadow her content’s focus.
How do you personally measure success as a content creator? Are there any specific goals or milestones you strive to achieve in your career?
For Suzan, success as a content creator is about proving to herself that she can do it and enjoying the process. She wanted to show her supportive daughter that she could excel in this field. Suzan views content creation as an opportunity to explore her untapped skills and find her voice. She believes many women her age use social media to discover different parts of themselves after raising their children. While making money is a part of her journey, it is not her main focus. Suzan’s primary goal is to have fun and enjoy the experience of being a content creator. As she humorously puts it, “Just wanna have fun.”
Have you ever collaborated with other content creators within your niche? If so, how have those collaborations enhanced your content and expanded your reach?
Suzan has not yet collaborated with other content creators within her niche, but she is open to the opportunity in the future. While no one has approached her for collaboration, she is willing to explore how it could enhance her content and expand her reach.
What advice would you give to individuals within the over-50 age group who are interested in pursuing content creation or becoming influencers on social media platforms like Instagram?
Suzan advises aspiring content creators in the over-50 age group, “Find something you love because otherwise, if it’s forced, it shows. Concentrate on something you can talk about for hours that you genuinely love and enjoy because then you’ll have fun with it. If you find those things—your voice and your confidence—that will naturally come. Find something you love to do, find something you want, and you’ll enjoy it.” This emphasizes the importance of pursuing passion and authenticity in content creation.
How do you manage the balance between your personal life and your online presence as an influencer? Are there any boundaries or limits you’ve established to maintain that balance?
Suzan manages the balance between her personal life and online presence by setting boundaries and prioritizing her enjoyment. She doesn’t engage in live videos frequently and only does them if she genuinely enjoys them.
As an empty nester with flexibility, she finds it easy to maintain balance as she can create content anywhere, including during her travels. She can choose which brand collaborations or work opportunities she wants to pursue, allowing her to prioritize her preferences.
As someone active on Instagram, how do you handle negative comments or trolling, and what advice would you give to others who may encounter similar challenges?
In handling negative comments and trolling on social media, Suzan advises not taking it personally, saying, “Social media can be a weird place, too sometimes.” She recommends tuning out hurtful comments, blocking, and moving on. The influencer emphasizes the importance of knowing one’s self-worth and not letting negativity define it. She recognizes that mean comments reflect more on the people who write them and encourages focusing on creating content for those who appreciate it.
Additionally, she suggests distancing oneself from toxic individuals both online and offline. Her advice centers around maintaining a positive mindset and surrounding oneself with positivity.
Do you have any plans or aspirations for your content creation career beyond Instagram? Are there any other platforms or mediums you’re interested in exploring?
Suzan plans to expand her content creation career by exploring different platforms and mediums. She has already started on YouTube and is interested in pursuing background acting and potentially getting involved in commercials and minor movie roles. Social media has played a positive role in helping her find their voice, and she is eager to further explore acting opportunities. For Suzan, age is not seen as a barrier, and she is motivated to embrace new experiences and enjoy life.
Lastly, what message or legacy do you hope to leave through your content and your impact as a content creator?
Suzan becomes emotional when asked about the message or legacy she hopes to convey through her content and impact as a creator. She mentions that she wants her children to see a part of her that they may not have known or realized, using her content as a video diary. Sometimes lighthearted and at other times authentic and insightful, her content allows her children to see different aspects of her. Suzan expresses happiness and satisfaction in leaving this legacy for her children.