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How to choose a great webinar topic

how to choose a great webinar topic

The topic of my first webinar came about pretty much by accident.

I mentioned a problem I could see many business owners struggling with (setting up their Facebook Business Pages and worrying about doing it “wrong”) to my business coach and she said,

“Ooh, you could do a webinar showing people exactly how to set up their Pages.”

It had never even occurred to me that I could simply set a Facebook Page up in real time, talking through the different settings and best practices as I went, and that would be a webinar.

It was so simple. And that first webinar is what really kicked off my list building growth (I pretty much doubled my list) and drove sales into the beta round of my Facebook from Scratch workshop.

The truth is we don’t always realize the things we already know that would make a great webinar topic. In fact, you probably have at least 5 webinars worth of knowledge in your head right this second!

Don’t believe me? Get out a pen and paper or pop open a Google doc and let’s brainstorm together. (Don’t censor yourself at this point — we’ll get to weeding through the ideas to find the best ones in a minute.)

A couple questions to get your wheels turning:

  • What do you find yourself explaining again and again to your clients?
  • What would be really fun for you to teach?
  • What is the most valuable thing you could share in 60min?

Since webinars are generally about an hour, there is only so much you can cover. You can either talk about many concepts in a more shallow way, just dipping into each one OR you can pick one main concept and dive deeply into it.

I tend to go with the latter because for me the most important thing is providing a concrete takeaway for the hour or so my audience invests in watching the webinar. I want them to feel like they really got something useful and that’s a bit harder to do when you cover a lot of concepts in a more shallow way.

Ok, let’s keep the list going!

Places you can go for webinar ideas:

  • Your most popular blog posts (check out this cool trick in Google Analytics to see which ones those are) — can you go deeper and make this into a 45min presentation?
  • Frequently asked questions — go through your inbox and look for the questions that keep popping up again and again, how could you put together a webinar that could help?
  • Your ideal clients! Talk to one or two on the phone/Skype or survey them about their biggest struggles — this will give you a TON of valuable insight not just for webinar topics, but products and services you might offer too!
  • Your programs, courses or workshops — what are the bite-sized concepts you could pull out and teach in under an hour?

You should have a pretty good list of ideas now so now let’s dig through and figure out which ones actually have legs.

3 filters you can run all your webinar topics through to choose the best ones:

1) Are you excited to share this? Which idea are you the MOST excited about?

2) Does this provide a concrete takeaway for your audience at the end of the 45-60min? Something they can actually use. (Even if they don’t hire you!) Ask yourself what’s the transformation you want your audience to experience as a result of the webinar to zero in on this one. (That can be as simple as setting up their Facebook Page with confidence like my example above!)

3) Would you attend this webinar if you were your ideal client?

And a BONUS question if you want to sell something through our webinar:

4) How does what you are teaching lead into what you are selling? Does it provide a taste of your product or service through the webinar? Or once they’ve learned what you have to teach in the webinar, is your product or service is the next logical step?

Yes, some topics are easier to market than others. But I’ve done this with nearly a dozen business owners in my Get Your Webinar Done service and my clients have been successful with topics from profit planning to tapping into your intuition. So I can pretty confidently say if you keep that desired transformation in mind, you can find a way to put together a solid presentation that communicates something of value.

And if you stay focused on what the concrete takeaway of the webinar is, you’ll be able to market it in a way that this value is clear.

I’d love to hear from you

Are you surprised with how many ideas you were able to come up with? Had you been putting off your first (or next) webinar because you had no earthly idea what you to share?

Ooh, and if you are moved to share — tell us what your next webinar topic is going to be! (Nothing like public declarations to get you moving, right?)

If you found this brainstorming process helpful, I’d be so grateful if you shared this article with a fellow business owner who might be stuck for webinar topics too! There are handy Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest sharing buttons right below :)

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Everything you need to do to create, promote and execute a successful webinar -- in one Master Checklist:

  • Webinar Content: how to share your info
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  • Technology To-dos: how to pull it off
  • Promotion Schedule: how to to FILL it!

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17 Responses to How to choose a great webinar topic

  1. Larissa January 15, 2015 at 14:27 #

    I’ve actually wanted to do another webinar but the first had some technical issues so I’ve been apprehensive and not sure what to do. Thanks for the helpful post!

  2. Kathy January 15, 2015 at 15:45 #

    Hey Jackie!

    Webinar is actually my official word of the year ;) Has been my biggest list bigger too! I’m having my next one on Tuesday and it’s ‘How to Access Your Inner Life Coach” which will also lead into my coaching training program for moms to coach moms.

    Hit all those filters so thanks for this great post!

  3. Gennia Holder January 15, 2015 at 17:01 #

    Webinars are what I’m doing for list building this year. Just so happens that outlining my webinars is on my master task list for this week – so when I saw this I was like, oh yeah! First webinar for a launch and would like to host them monthly after that. Thinking of keeping topics in line with my blog’s editorial calendar so mapping that out.

    One of the reasons I was putting off webinars was because there is so much I could talk about, I had trouble narrowing it down. It had to do with getting clear on my message (which Kendrick helped with in Sales School) and having that focus was the missing ingredient for me.

    The other is that I was afraid of overwhelming people with what I share (I’m a New Yorker, I talk fast and I have a lot to say) :) so going deep on one topic is the way for me too.

    • Jackie Johnstone February 3, 2015 at 14:26 #

      Gennia, I hear you! It can be really hard to narrow down all your ideas but really I find putting the metaphorical pen to paper (in a Google doc for me!) and actually following this process, you’ll naturally see the best topics rise to the top. Being clear on your overall business message is definitely going to help this process BUT webinars are also a great testing ground to see where what you love & know intersects with what people want to learn!

  4. Siedah Mitchum Designs January 15, 2015 at 18:05 #

    I am in my head when it comes to a webinar. It’s something I’ve been battling with doing a webinar. I am a little nervous to do a webinar. Is it really necessary if you’re not selling a course?

    So many questions… lol :)

    • Jackie Johnstone February 3, 2015 at 14:29 #

      Siedah, you are not alone! Honestly for the first one, it might actually be better if you aren’t selling anything, — it’ll take that pressure off and just focus on delivering the most value you can AND growing your list in the process.

      Why are you in your head about a webinar? What specifically is feeling intimidating?

  5. Devon January 16, 2015 at 04:48 #

    I’ve finally worked up the courage to do my first webinar…and because it was such a great topic, it’s actually a 3-parter. ‘Make The Ask: How to get what you need in business’.
    I’m having a ball pulling together the content, and am doing my best yoga breathing to get rid of the butterflies :) Testing (and re-testing) all the techy stuff ahead of time should ease the fear.
    Part 1 kicks off on the 22nd – excited!

    • Jackie Johnstone February 3, 2015 at 14:30 #

      Yay Devon!! I LOVE the idea of a 3-part webinar series. And know that the more you do it, the more confident you’ll get :)

  6. Madeleine Lamou January 17, 2015 at 19:14 #

    Thank you, Jackie, brilliant info! I’m planning on starting webinars this spring, so I’m totally bookmarking your post for future reference.

    And while I’m here, I just wanted to say HUGE thanks for all the fantastic info you so generously share. I’ve finally got around to doing my facebook content plan, and after going through tons and tons of resources (all were great but overwhelming), I found myself going back to your “4 pillars” – it’s the simplest, the most doable and the least confusing content framework I’ve ever come across. So thank you again!

    • Jackie Johnstone February 3, 2015 at 14:32 #

      Aw thank you, lady!! It really means a lot to hear that the 4 Pillars are helping you get un-stuck! Simple, doable and least confusing are *exactly* what I was going for :) You are so welcome — and I look forward to seeing your first webinar!

  7. Becky January 17, 2015 at 22:28 #

    This is so great, Jackie! I’m planning on doing a webinar in Feb and this is SUPER helpful. Thank you!

  8. Mary Sabo January 29, 2015 at 08:18 #

    Love this!! My last session with Kendrick was focused on my first webinar and I am using this post this week to work through it on my own as well!

  9. Leanne Chesser April 12, 2015 at 21:49 #

    This is a great post to help with this particular aspect of creating a webinar. I chose my first topic in the Get Your Webinar Done program, but I just decided on my second one from going through this post. Thanks :).

  10. Miranda January 25, 2016 at 00:55 #

    Great post! I’ve held a few webinars in the past and loved your easy to read tips to keep me on track. Would you suggest a webinar name should have the solution or just the takeaway in it?

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