Introducing Emily Hilder from Human Brands.

We’re so excited to welcome back the Head Human from Human Brands, Emily Hilder, into our business spotlight. Please give her a huge SA Woman welcome! 

In this chat with Jess from Jess McEachen Copywriting, we dive even further into Em’s work of ‘helping purpose-driven people unearth their magic’, and what that truly means for her and for them. (Seriously, what a bloody great job!). Not to mention her biggest note to self – Do What You Love.

Em tells us all about her Northstar:Create and Northstar:Grow programs and how they’re generating such meaningful and mind-blowing results. Em also discusses the shifts the pandemic has created and what marketing & branding trends she thinks we’ll see emerge in 2022. 

Em reveals why she loves being part of the SA Woman community, and is looking forward to clearing a path through work pressure, family resposibilities & the C word…to have more in-person connection & top up her soul. We absolutely agree Em, there is nothing quite like it!

If this doesn’t leave you with a smile on your dial and a fire in your belly, then check your pulse!  We’re so grateful to have Em with us in the Business Spotlight for March.

// Welcome back! It’s so fabulous to have your wonderful self and Human Brands back in the SA Woman business spotlight again! Em – for those who haven’t come across you yet, can you please introduce us to your business & what lights you up about what you do? Also, do you have any particular industries or business types you love to work with the most?

Thanks Jess! I’m the Head Human at Human Brands: spot the person who got to choose their own job title!

My awesome team and I are on a mission to help heart-led people grow thriving businesses, doing the work that they love.

We’re all about helping purpose-driven people unearth their magic, say goodbye to the hustle and scale their business with authenticity and grace.

We specialise in thought-leader brands and purpose-driven businesses: our clients range from startups and solopreneurs (soooooooooh many SA Woman members among our lovely clients!) to well-known brands like Flinders Uni and People’s Choice.


// In very exciting news, not only have you relaunched your own website – but you’ve launched ‘Northstar:Create’, which is an eight-week launch intensive for purpose-driven business owners. Not only are you helping people do the work that makes their heart sing, but you’re also helping them to ‘Claim your niche so decisively that you won’t even have to THINK about “the competition” (for real!)’. LOVE THIS!

Why is this course so needed & who is going to love it the most?

Northstar:Create is an intensive 8-week brand building program, designed for anyone who wants to create something new, as well as business owners who are looking to pivot or redefine their work.

It uses the tools of positioning, service design and brand-building, but really it’s about focusing on the work that lights you up – your “zone of genius” – and building a business around that.

Honestly Jess I can’t tell you how much joy I get out of our Northstar programs. This will actually be the third time we’ve run it, and every time I am blown away by the quality of people it attracts and the impact and transformation it creates. It’s proper magic, as they say in Wales! Can’t wait for the next one to start.


// Continuing with this epic program, I love that you’ve said “Together with a group of like-minded people, you will unearth the topics which set your heart on fire, design a business which draws together the threads of your passions and skills, and embark on a journey towards finally earning an income from work that makes your heart sing.” Just so damn important!

This paragraph got me thinking about the downsides & at times, drudgery of the last few years. Have you noticed in particular throughout the pandemic, that more & more people are really wanting to turn their passion into a business? That it becomes top priority?

Yep. When the pandemic first hit, I noticed that people were using the space it created to reevaluate their lives, and there seemed to be this real focus on building lives that worked for us, rather than the other way around.

I also think when the sh*t hits the fan it helps us realise how short life is – and how little of it there is to waste.

I remember reading this beautiful quote by Mizuta Masahide, which said “My barn having burned down, I can now see the moon”. It blew my mind and for days I couldn’t stop thinking about how I could help these people who were itching to create positive change in their lives.

It’s so important to do work that we love – the work that lights us up. I believe we all come with a gift to share, and that we all light up when we’re using ours.

I’m on a mission to help people find their gift, talk about it with confidence and be able to make a good living from it. There’s really no reason why we shouldn’t all be able to do this, with the right support.

When the pandemic first hit, I noticed that people were using the space it created to reevaluate their lives, and there seemed to be this real focus on building lives that worked for us, rather than the other way around.

I also think when the sh*t hits the fan it helps us realise how short life is – and how little of it there is to waste.

It’s so important to do work that we love – the work that lights us up. I believe we all come with a gift to share, and that we all light up when we’re using ours.

Em Hilder

Human Brands

// On top of this, you’ve also got the amazing ‘Northstar:Grow’, which is a group program for business owners who have got their strategic foundations already laid, and are now ready to bring their plans to life. What shifts and results do you expect those involved will see over the 12 months?

Yes – Northstar:Grow is the follow-on program to Northstar:Create.

It’s a 12-month Mastermind program for established businesses which are looking to purposefully transform the impact and scale of their business.

I launched Northstar:Grow back in June, so we’re now in the second half of the program.

The progress the members have made is already mind-blowing: teams expanded, apps launched, massive pivots made, premises opened and expanded, revenue through the roof!

It’s such a rewarding and humbling experience to see the transformative power of a supportive, purpose-driven group: they’re totally the heroes of the story.


// I absolutely love that you help others to ‘do the work they love & earn good money on their own terms’. But what does this mean for you personally – what are your terms for your business?

Mm, that’s a good question. When I established Human Brands I knew very clearly that I wanted to only work with businesses which were having a positive impact in the world – so that’s one of our non-negotiables.

I also knew that I didn’t want to do ‘cookie cutter’ marketing (because that takes away all the things that make your business special and leaves you swimming in a sea of identical-looking fish) and I definitely wanted to take a strategy-first approach (because if you leap into the void of landing pages, Facebook lives, and paid ads without a clear strategy, you’re never going to land where you want to).

I also knew that I wanted to work with amazing people in a way that brings creativity, playfulness and connection: we’ve totally built that in our community of clients and experts, and I think this is one of the things I’m most proud of.

Em Hilder's biggest piece of advice - do what you love.

// Ok, before we look ahead…if you could go back 25 years to when you first started supporting clients to create and grow thriving businesses – what would you tell yourself?


Ha! Mmm, let me think.

Do what you love.

Be brave: you are capable of so much more than you think you are.

Listen to the experts, but listen to yourself more.

Do what you love.

Annnnnnnnnd… do what you love 🙂

// From a marketing & branding perspective, what are your top tips for small business owners for 2022? What are the key areas they need to focus on?

I think in 2022 we will see more focus and individualism – and I hope we’ll see a more integrous approach to marketing and branding too.

I think business owners will start to focus more on the small handful of strategies, channels, and offers that really work for them and their people. I think everyone’s had a gutfull of trying to juggle a billion channels at once and they’re ready for a change. 

And I think people will be tapping into their innate creativity and carving out their own ways to connect with people. We already have a few clients who are really forging their own path in this way, and it’s working its socks off for them.

When I talk about a more integrous approach to marketing and branding, I mean less hustle, less sketchy sales techniques – and more genuine service, sharing and connection. Not only does this make the world a better place, it’s a way more effective and sustainable way to grow a business, too.


// We’re so grateful to have your sparkling personality and wonderful insights within the SAW membership community. What are you most looking forward to in 2022 from being an SA Woman member?

Aw, thanks! I love being part of it.

I’m looking forward to more in-person connection: it’s tricky sometimes with work pressure, fam and the recent restrictions – but there really is nothing quite like it for topping up the soul. 

I’m also looking forward to more idea-jamming and collaboration with other SAWoman members.


// Lastly, if you could have lunch with 3 other amazing South Australian women – who would you invite?

Ha! OMG, so many. OK, just for fun I’ll give you an old favourite, and two women I’d like to get to know better 🙂 

Louise Flaherty from Little Big Bush Camps is a long-standing client, dear friend and surf buddy. Life is busy and we don’t get to catch up as often as I’d like. I’d opt for a hike, sail or other outdoor adventure with this one!

I got chatting to Ailsa Robson at one of the SA Woman lunches and we hit it off like a house on fire. I’d love more time to get to know her better.

And lastly, Robyn Verrall from Bullys Meats. We had SUCH a laugh at the speaker’s roof climb, I felt like the naughty kid in class all over again! I love her straight shooting approach and her mighty heart: come the revolution, she’s someone I’d like on my side!

Thanks for chatting with us Em!!

Find out more about Em Hilder & Human Brands:

Register your interest in Northstar:Create : Click here!

Save 30% on Em’s book “The ultimate strategic workbook for service businesses”! Use the code ‘SAW30book’ before 31 March 2022 

Blogs ahoy: Discover more useful tips here!

Conversations with Carly: SAW Members can listen to the full convo here!

Members Only Masterclass: SAW Members can soak up all of Em’s wisdom in this epic 90-minute Masterclass!

Facebook: Human Brands


LinkedIn: Emily Hilder