Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle is Content Strategy

Every organization knows what they do. Some know how they do it, and a very few know why they do it – not to make money, but why you get out of bed in the morning, and why anyone should care. Simon Sinek calls this the Golden Circle. I think Simon Sinek’s golden circle is content strategy.

An image of Simon Sinek's golden circle

Simon Sinek’s golden circle: what, how, and why

As Brain Traffic says, content strategy guides the creation, deliver, and governance of usable, useful content. And how does a good content strategy do this? It answers three questions:

  • What do you do
  • How do you do it
  • Why do you do it

What you do is (as Simon Sinek noted) fairly easy. Then, by specifying why you do something, you identify your core values. Based on this, you can figure out the right tactics – the how.

Simon Sinek’s golden circle was not created to be a content strategy. Sinek isn’t a content strategist. But unsurprisingly, Sinek’s advice for businesses could be stated as: create a content strategy.

The “why” matters

“The goal is not just to sell to people who need what you have. The goal is to sell to people who believe what you believe.”

Simon Sinek, Tips for Inclusive Leadership

The golden circle shows what every strategist already knows. What you do is only the outer layer. If you know why you’re doing it, then new features, marketing strategies, and everything else will fall into place. The what may incorporate requirements, and the how is tactics. But without knowing why the team is working, there can be no strategy.

What does your content strategy do? Do you focus on the how and the what, or do you also clarify the why? Ask yourself who you’re doing this for. What do they need – and also why. Consider your behavioral personas, and your core values. Create your own golden circle, and share it with your team to build alignment.

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