Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle: When Your Goal, Benefits, and Target Audience aren’t Enough

Via Bredemarket, I work with a number of clients who ask me to create content for them. Since last September, I have used an internal “kickoff guide” form to start my conversations with these clients.

Header of September 2021 Bredemarket Kickoff Guide

While I thought that this kickoff guide was pretty good, I just revised it to make it even better.

The September 2021 iteration of the Bredemarket kickoff guide

I developed the Bredemarket kickoff guide to address a number of issues, including the style limitations of Google Docs. But the primary issue that prompted the kickoff guide was the need to capture as much information about a client project in the early stages, to reduce later rework.

The primary set of questions that I asked was a set of questions that I’ve talked about ad nauseum (literally). Before getting into the nuts and bolts of the content itself, there were three critical questions that I asked the client:

  • What is the goal that you want to achieve with the content?
  • What are the benefits (not features, but benefits) that your end customers can realize by using your product or service?
  • What is the target audience for the content?

There were two reasons that I asked these questions. First, I believed that the client’s final collateral would benefit if I asked these questions. Second, I believed that Bredemarket would benefit by differentiating itself from other writers who just launched into “the facts” questions about the content.

Jack Webb as Sgt. Joe Friday.
Joe “The Facts” Friday was not a content marketer. By NBC Television – eBayfrontback, Public Domain,

If I may pat myself on the back, these are pretty good questions.

But is there anything else that I should be asking?

Simon Synek’s “Golden Circle”

I’m currently taking a course from HubSpot Academy, and one of the instructors mentioned Simon Sinek’s “Golden Circle.”

This goes beyond a particular product or service, and addresses a company’s reason for being. Here’s what HubSpot says about the need for the “Golden Circle”:

…what Sinek found is that most companies do their marketing backwards. They start with their “what” and then move to the “how.” Most of these companies neglect to even mention “why.” More alarmingly, many of them don’t even know why they do what they do!


Contrast this with companies (Apple is an oft-cited example) that know why they do what they do, and effectively communicate this. It may be hard to believe this, but for Apple, the “why” question is even more important than the latest color of its products (current iteration: “it’s green”).

So can Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle help my clients receive better marketing collateral, and can it help me (and Bredemarket) differentiate myself from other writers? And if so, what do I have do to achieve these benefits for my clients and myself?

The April 2022 iteration of the Bredemarket kickoff guide

One part of the answer was to revise my kickoff guide. In the latest iteration, I precede my goal/benefits/target audience questions with three questions derived from Sinek’s “Golden Circle,” starting with the all-important “why” question.

(“Why”: it’s not just for multi factor authentication!)

Of course, I still have to use the revised kickoff guide with a client, but I hope to do this shortly in one way or another. If you could like me to use this kickoff guide with your firm to help create meaningful, relevant content:

Postscript: an example of repurposing

This post was repurposed from a comment that I made in the HubSpot Community in response to the course that I’m taking.


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