Guided Goals Podcast #36: Video with Steve Dotto

Steve Dotto PodcastSteve Dotto joins us on the Guided Goals Podcast, and we’re going to talk about Video.

Steve is Canada’s most respected geek. For over 20 years, as host and executive producer of Dotto Tech. Steve entertained and educated millions of Canadians on all aspects of technology. He has since re-invented himself, learning the world of social media, online community building and Internet Marketing, and has built his YouTube channel into his new career.

Steve talks about the difference between types of video, video tips, the importance of establishing a format, and more.


The beauty of video is it’s a fast track to community building, Steve explains. You need to build awareness for your cause, product, or whatever it is you produce. Steve thinks it’s hard to create engagement through the written work. It’s hard work on the writer and it’s hard on the consumer, because in this ADHD world, where we are increasingly consuming more content on our smartphones. Text is a lot of work for the reader to invest, whereas with video all of the senses are brought to the table.

We use video to create immediate understanding. Video is the fast track way to get new fans, create engagement, and build your community.

The Ease of Video

Video is of age now. The computer can act as the entire recording and production platform. We no longer have to do multi-step where we record on a video camera, bring it to the computer, do editing, and then output it, Steve says. Doing everything at once and together makes it very economical for producing.

Steve says in his screencasting course that you can now produce video just as economically in terms of time as it takes you to write a blog post.

Steve’s YouTube videos are between 6 and 12 minutes long, and he can have a video ready for posting within 1 1/2 to 2 hours. You do the same SEO stuff for video as you do for written blog posts.

The Content

In school, we learned the building blocks of writing. But if you just look at words on a page as an image, it all looks the same (a recipe vs a blog post, etc).

When people create video – whether it’s a Snapchat, Facebook Live, Blab, Screencast, or other video – sometimes they post the same thing everywhere with no thought of what the consumer is looking for when they go to that platform.

People go to YouTube to learn things, so why would you post that video on Facebook, where it’s an accidental view. People aren’t looking to learn things while they are going through their feed. Adding accent videos on Facebook are great.

We have to understand where we are positioning our videos and what it’s for in order to compose it for that network.

YouTube is for instructional and intentional content. And almost all of Steve’s growth has come from YouTube’s search, he says.

Social videos are, of course, video, as well, but the length, the direction, the intention are all different. They are all about engagement and inspiration.

If you are going to post your Blab elsewhere, make a sizzle real, to get people to go over to that platform and watch the whole thing.

Keep these things into the realm of how long you are willing to watch. It’s all about the intention of the visit to the social platform.

Talking Heads

Steve is all about edutainment, as opposed to straight education and straight entertainment. He knows if people see him, they will like him. If you just have a slideshow and I can’t see your face, I am much less likely to be engaged, he explains. What is the point of doing something live, if you can’t see your face.

People don’t judge us the same way we judge ourselves. The only time people would be bothered with your flub is if you appear bothered with your flub. If you get uncomfortable, people will care.

There are certain types of videos where a talking head doesn’t add to the value. Seeing people’s eyes, the tilt of the head, and the expressions help so much with engagement.

A comfort level on camera is a big roadblock for some people, Steve says. If you can’t get past it, “go analog before you go digital.” Join an improv group. Learn how to make mistakes and laugh at yourself. It takes time and taking a few chances.

The biggest mistake people make on video is being afraid of the microphone. People will watch good quality audio with poor video, but they will not watch good video with poor audio.


Adobe just released Spark. It won’t be a traditional, talking heads video (it’s graphics and text put together into a video), but the templates will help you with establishing a video format.

Steve has a format for each video, so he is not making creative calls in the middle of producing the video. He knows what his intro is and what he wants to accomplish: he establishes his personality, creates a bit of  joke, and tells what the video is about. He then has a little bumper, then creates context (why it’s important), then does the product demo. Then there is the wrap, which is his calls to action. These segments are in each and every video.

If you play with Adobe’s format for creating text and graphics video, you’ll see that structure. That is a great place to start. Having a format means you always know where you are.

Work-Life Balance

Steve fishes in his downtime. He has a cabin in the woods, and will come in from the lake sometimes and not even check his email.

He respects the idea of work-life balance, but he never looked as his life as compartmentalized. To him it’s about success balance. His personal life tells him when he is not spending enough time. He goes with whatever is top of mind.

Personal Goal of the Week: Find someplace where you are disconnected to recharge and reenergize.

Bonus Personal Goal of the Week: Take something off your plate. Build your team. Bless someone with work they can do, so it frees you up to do what only you can do.

Professional Goal of the Week:Do a 5-minute instructional video. Upload it or don’t. Just give it a try.

Bonus Professional Goal of the Week: Come up with a format for your video.

Want to learn more about video? Listen to the entire interview on iTunes or Stitcher.

Download the podcast.

Watch the video:

The Guided Goals Podcast gives you the tools, direction, and resources you need to pursue your passion project. Thanks for tuning in.

Subscribe on iTunesStitcher or SoundCloud, and leave a review.

* * *

About Debra: A project catalyst, Debra Eckerling works with individuals and small businesses to create a strategy, set goals and manage their projects. Follow Debra @GuidedGoals, Like Guided Goals on Facebook, Subscribe to YouTube.