How to know if your business needs digital marketing support or core brand work.

Your business is a living being. Why else would you show up for it day in and day out, tend to it lovingly, push the limits of its potential? For the heart-centered entrepreneur, your business is a life force. It keeps you and your team sustained and abundant, and in return you take care of it, protect it, and do your best to evolve and transform it into better versions of itself.


June 7, 2021

Reading Time

9 minutes



Our businesses are one of the major reasons we suffer from insomnia and grey hairs – they also provide the deepest source of satisfaction on a level that’s impossible to explain to folks who haven’t made a business before.

This is why, when things begin to go wrong or aren’t progressing the way we want, we reach for the simplest, quickest solution: a better digital marketing strategy.

The Backstory

A few years ago I tore my right ACL. It’s a common injury among skiers and soccer players, of which I am neither. No, I was just running, hiking, and patting myself on the back for maintaining a reasonable level of fitness. Then one tragic, tropical afternoon in Hawaii, I playfully launched myself off a ten-foot wall behind my rented condo and landed with a thud into loose beach sand. I went one way, my knee went the other; I won’t go into detail, but it was immediately obvious that something very wrong had happened.

What followed was years of rehab, eventual surgery, and more rehab. There were lots of anti-inflammatories, needling sessions, physio strengthening for this muscle or that, setbacks, icing, small injuries, and the ordering of a custom knee brace as I struggled to make progress in my healing.

I eventually learned something important after years of spending money and being frustrated. The fundamental reason for my injury (and the reason it wasn’t really improving despite all my efforts) was that I wasn’t addressing the core issue.

For me, the core issue was how I understood and communicated with my body. The way I had been running was hard on my knees. Certain muscles were chronically tight and weak, which had made the tear inevitable. I had constantly pushed my body past its capacity and didn’t allow it to heal before pushing it again. All the needles and icing were the simplest and most attractive solutions at the time (and just required me to sit still and endure some discomfort) but they were bandaids. I finally set them aside to get a high-level perspective on the situation, and as a result, I got the help I needed and changed how I treat my body on a fundamental level.

Your business is like your body. It’s tempting to reach for the simplest solution, which includes things like launching more ads and posting on platforms at particular times of the day. Investing in digital marketing can scratch a particular itch and make you feel like progress is being made, and it’s relatively easy to do. As long as you have the budget, there are people out there who can maximize your investment in these different marketing pockets. You will receive reports and get the sense that you are doing something different than you were before.

But buyer beware – it’s easy to fork out money, show up for a needling appointment, swallow the pills, and stick with what you know. It’s a lot more difficult to deconstruct your current narrative and face the truth that there is a fundamental gap or feeling of misalignment that no tactics will solve until you build a rock-solid brand foundation.

This being said, a digital marketing agency can be a very useful investment (ie. crucial!) if and when your foundation is solid.

Here is our simple checklist to help you determine whether your next step is digital marketing or core branding:

  • Your mission, vision, and purpose statements are relevant and powerful. These reflect not only where you are now, but where you are going

  • Your company culture and direction is aligned and motivated around your core statements

  • Your guiding principles allow for greater trust and transparency within your organization

  • You speak your clients’ language and know how to connect deeply with them

  • You intimately know who your clients are, and who you need to be for them

  • You attract profitable, high quality clients who resonate with your company’s purpose

  • Your brand is cleverly strategic in the context of your industry

  • Making strategic decisions feels simple and clear

  • You’re proud of how your brand (and business) shows up in the world

Once you’ve finished this little exercise, there are 3 major outcomes:

  1. You happily checked them all! If you clicked on this blog because you wanted to make sure it’s a good time to up your game in digital marketing, then we give you our full support. Your brand is ready for a digital marketing strategy that reflects its confidence and brilliance.

  2. You checked off all the boxes, but you’re hesitant to show up consistently online. Boy, we know that feeling. If you feel confident in the areas above, you may be entangled in the perfectionist trap. We highly recommend pushing past this internal barrier, whether it means beginning the digital marketing journey yourself or hiring professionals. The time has come for you to spread your message and build momentum.

  3. You did not check off all the boxes. If this is you, we highly recommend taking a deep breath and re-examining your current brand. Determine what your missing pieces are and what you ideally want your brand to do. What do you want it to communicate? Who do you want it to attract? What alignment could be forged between your high-level business goals and your brand? The potential for your growth when it is backed by a strong brand is astronomical.

The lights of digital marketing shine bright. Before you opt to invest there, consider this: There is a ceiling on your ROI when you pay for targeted ads but aren’t entirely sure who you’re targeting. If your brand is a solid representation of where you were last year (maybe even where you are right now), but doesn’t speak to where you’re growing, then you will continue to stay in the same position. The lived expression of your values, purpose, and mission is limited when they are not entrenched in your company’s culture. 

Your brand represents the deep work of seeing your business differently and strategically, the way I had to see my body differently in order to make real change happen. Now, are you ready to create a brand to catapult you into your desired future?

At Soulbrand Studio, we believe the best brands are built from the soul up. If you’re ready to go from your brand’s “1.0” to your “2.0”, regain confidence and clarity in how you show up in the world, and reconnect with (and expand) your purpose  — connect with us for a Discovery Call.


Brittany Veenhuysen

Writer & Brand Psychologist

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