Loom Videos to Power Business Systems with David Jenyns

Loom Videos to Power Business Systems with David Jenyns (Episode 91)

video marketing podcast Jan 21, 2022

Have you ever had a stressful vacation because you can’t put your phone down, answering client calls or putting out fire in the office? Ever felt like you can’t catch a break during office hours because your staff kept consulting with you for every decision? Ever dreamed of growing your business but always wake up to the reality that your hands are always full? 

It’s simple really. Step back and let your business run without you. 

Wait, what? 

Welcome to 'Video Made Simple' video podcast featuring marketers, entrepreneurs & clients who help take the mystery out of video and break through the monotony of day-to-day communication. 

In this episode, Chris Schwager (Video Marketer from Ridge Films) is joined by David Jenyns (CEO of systemHUB, author of SYSTEMology) as they talk about how systemizing your business processes can create time, reduce errors, and give your business a chance to scale, as well as how videos help streamline the operations so that other people can take over in the absence of another. 

David Jenyns: When I realized it's not about the software, it really isn't, as much as I'd love to be able to say system hub is the only solution. And everybody needs to have this. There are some challenges with every platform. And there's pros and cons. And then the real key is if you've got a project management platform, if you're running projects through an Asana, a teamwork, PM, a Podio, or Monday or something like that, when you start to think about assigning tasks out to team members, the point at which you assign the task, you want to have the link to that video or that training at that point. So you might say, alright, this task is getting assigned to Sally to issue out an invoice to the client. And in the description, there's a link to how to issue out that invoice in MYOB. And that way she gets assigned the task, but if she can't do it, it makes it so much easier to reassign it to someone else. Because you've already got the how to document or training right there. That's that's actually the real key. 


Links and Resources:

Video Transcription:

David Jenyns 0:01

When I realized it's not about the software, it really isn't, as much as I'd love to be able to say system hub is the only solution. And everybody needs to have this. There are some challenges with every platform. And there's pros and cons. If you don't have any system, get a folder, start to talk about that folder structure I've got. And then the real key is, when you think about this idea of being able to find it when you need it. Part of that then becomes if you've got a project management platform, if you're running projects through an Asana, a teamwork, PM, a Podio, or Monday or something like that, when you start to think about assigning tasks out to team members, the point at which you assign the task, you want to have the link to that video or that training at that point. So you might say, alright, this task is getting assigned to Sally to issue out an invoice to the client. And in the description, there's a link to how to issue out that invoice in MYOB. And that way she gets assigned the task, but if she can't do it, it makes it so much easier to reassign it to someone else. Because you've already got the how to document or training right there. That's actually the real key.

Chris Schwager 1:17

Hello video marketing professionals. Welcome to the podcast that takes the mystery out of producing videos. Today. Our guest is David Jenyns, Founder of systemHUB, a software company that makes standard operating procedures systems easy David believes in building systems centered businesses, owners can step back and enjoy freedom for more important things. He detailed this in his book Systemology, which gives you a step by step system that fixes owner dependent businesses in 2016, David successfully systematized himself out of his own business. And since then he has made it his mission to free all business owners worldwide from the daily operations of running their business. So by the end of this episode, I'm sure you're not only going to be able to have more time, increased productivity, reduce errors and scale business. I'm your host, Chris Schwager. And let's check in with co host Brendan Southall. How are you? Good, man?

Brendan Southall 2:14

I'm very excited. I've read David's book. I've been around systems for a long time, I think their systems doing pretty much everything we do, whether they're good or bad, they they, so I'm keen to learn more.

Chris Schwager 2:27

Whether ying and yang Brendan's the nerdy dude, the system's dude, I'm flaring flamboyant creative dude. And the yin and the yang. And that's how we've maintained our business relationship for the last 20 years. That's why I'm run in the driver's seat up here. But Brendan, why don't you come on up? Come on up and drive with me today, because I think you in the hot seat, talking to Dave, I think would be really beneficial for you. So how do we do that virtually, I'm sure that he's in. He's out there in the driver's seat. So here's our conversation with David Jenyns.

David, thanks for coming on the show. What prompted you to create systemology?

David Jenyns 3:22

So this is like one of those big, poorly addressed problems when it comes to business owners. And I feel really passionate about business owners and the struggles they go through and the work that they put in, and I just feel compelled and to set up this business and systemology and solve this problem. It's a bit funny because all of my previous businesses I just kind of fell into, I started doing some digital marketing, I was selling some stuff online. I even had a video business, which I'm sure we'll talk about, we had a rock and roll clothing music store, and all of these ones I just kind of fell into but this has been the first business that I've really just thought, Oh, this is something that I want to work on and something that I'm really drawn to do.

Chris Schwager 4:04

How long you been operating for?

David Jenyns 4:05

At systemology, we're coming up to about five years now. It's kind of it's been a combination. We started off with the software systemHUB, and then really found that business owners needed more than just the software. It's, it's really not the software that systemized as a business it's a way of thinking and that's what systemology evolved into.

Chris Schwager 4:25

Because you were talking about your history with your dad being (Yes) basically coaching you to get chores done. And I just thought that was so cool. I went home and told my wife I was like, go listen to this story. And that was kind of what spawned this idea about being quite process orientated. I mean, please elaborate for our listeners.

David Jenyns 4:49

So my dad was a systems engineer, and he developed a thing called the sheet for my brother and I. I would have been six years old, my brother was eight years old. And it was an elaborate three page document, where we would earn points for different activities, things like cleaning our bedroom, looking after the bird, being good to our brother. And it's funny, I watch the sheet evolve over time. And when my brother and I would do things that my dad didn't like, it would end up finding its way into the sheet things like, if you knock into dead speaker box, you will lose 300 points. And basically, he would tally up all of the points over the course of the week, on the final page, he had this little legend. And then he used that to calculate out how much pocket money we got. And he got really elaborate, he had rules. Like, if you get three weeks in a row over 350 points, you unlock this extra bonus, if you get five weeks, it's this bonus, and I I played the game incredibly well. Dad said I, I bled him dry, he had to change the rules of the game with how much he was paying out. And my brother on the other hand, or that's another story, he didn't like the sheet, he hated the sheet, I often say didn't, didn't give a shit about the sheet he completely decided not to engage with the sheet. And whereas I, I loved it and embraced it. So it's kind of Yeah, that that first introduction to this idea of some people's systems people, some people aren't systems people.

Chris Schwager 6:20

I just love that so much. Brendan and I both started as singles in this working relationship, and now have a combination of five kids collectively. So I think we can both appreciate that story. And I take those tips. In fact, I wanted to just go go and start drafting it up. And I'm not the systems guy in the family, my wife's the systems person. So I might have to get her to listen to this. And make sure that she implements something similar to our for our QA,

David Jenyns 6:48

I love that you touched on something that very common I think a lot of videographers need to think about is this idea of the yin and the yang, you talked about your wife being the systems person, Brendan being the systems person, like in the different areas of your life, because a lot of videographers, they are these big picture visionary and creative type people. And they might not see themselves as a systems person. And that's okay, you, you might not be a systems person, that doesn't mean you can't own a systems driven business, what you need to find is the yin to your Yang, it's, you know, the studio manager, it's the person who can cross the t's and dot the i's because it's really important from a business perspective. And the business owner, they can appreciate and value the systems and support it and make sure that they lead that example for the rest of the team. And then you have someone else that really helps to manage the team behind them. I think that's a missing piece for a lot of videographers.

Chris Schwager 7:48

Well, I think listening to you over the years, particularly with Den Lennie, I mean, if you are a video company listening to this and go, please check out his show, which is the Business Video Accelerator, you'll love it. And he's got listeners all over the world. But you know, I think that constant reassurance that if I was ever going to pull out of this business and you know, not be on the tools all the time that I needed to be able to get rid of those chip off those micro tasks. And we've been successfully doing that for last couple of years. Now we've got three virtual assistants and it's just been remarkable. Every inch of my day now is just like, do I need to do this? Can I loom record the video and get rid of it on loom recording? You said something, which was really interesting. And it probably got me more interested in just recording everything I did, because I knew there was an ability to get rid of it. But how important is that process? Today's I guess landscape of getting things off your plate to be able to quickly record rather than sitting down and kind of writing things out or feeling overwhelmed having to kind of draft stuff up? How much easier or how much more important is it just to have a loom recording video?

David Jenyns 9:00

Yeah, a big part of this, for a lot of videographers who are perfectionist, they want to get things just right. And they think about how the system needs to be and they might even have a picture in their head of what they think a good system is. Maybe they've think of McDonald's or Amazon or Google or subway or something, you know, like a franchise type business and you think of these detailed processes and then they think, ah, that's what I need in my business if I'm gonna think about systems, and that sometimes is what gets people stuck. And if you get through the idea, especially as a videographer and you just say just use loom and just consider, almost like the first loom that you do for a system or process is take one, like it's the first version, if that's the worst it's ever going to be just capture something, just capture it raw, just have all of the mistakes and everything. And that becomes your starting point. Because it's much easier to edit and pull out the key steps and rework it next time you do it, you reshoot it. And it's this constant, never ending process of improvement and tightening things. And loom makes it so easy. And it's infinitely easier, like you said, just to delete, he can go back and capture it, I've always been a huge fan of recording everything, whether I'm speaking at events, whether I'm speaking with clients, having client meetings, or having incoming calls or training staff, like we just record everything because I go, the cost of recording, I'm doing it anyway, that's half the work. It's not really I can decide whether or not it's useful afterwards, let's just record it. And that that's a philosophy now that I've carried through me with me, for all businesses.

Chris Schwager 10:49

We had a script writer to start with us in the last two months, and I've recorded 20 videos in the first two weeks. And it would kind of be almost like, just before I start this task, Can I record it. And just so that everybody is familiar with what loom is it's basically screen recording software that allows you to really quickly capture everything that's on the screen and your camera and your voice, and just have it goes up to the cloud. And it's done and stored. And it's kind of you can stow it away. And I'm sure your your VA will dig it up at one point and transcode it and do wonderful things and turn it into a proper written process.

David Jenyns 11:26

And the way to think about it. Like for me, I kind of as we were building a videography business, I started to think, beyond me now is easy. In one way, I can't actually operate a camera. I'm not a video editor, I know some of the super basics just by being in the space. But I really don't know how to do it. And it meant from day one, I had to build it with this idea of a systems business that has been delivered by someone else who's actually in there operationally doing all of the work. And that was really beneficial to me and ends up being one of the challenges for a lot of videographers is they might work with someone, they know how to do it. And they think oh, why don't I go out on my own and do my own thing. They already know how to do it all. And they end up becoming that center cog and it's really hard to let go because they've won the clients, they've overseen the shoot, they're doing the editing, and then it's very hard for them to get the space. But if you start to think about the business beyond you, and you think about your business, in terms of maybe some of the different departments, you've got sales, you've got marketing, maybe you've got the operations and the finance and a couple of these different departments. And when you do your loom recording videos, just start to filter them into those folders.

So I'm making a proposal for a client for one of the videos, well, that goes into sales

underneath the proposal folder, and you just start to catalogue this stuff over time. And if it's just you to start with, then maybe one of the first steps and you talked about actually off here, just before we started is, I think actually maybe it's only about your virtual assistant, then one of the first hires you've got, after you've recorded a base set of these videos is to get the virtual assistant in to watch those videos, pull out some of the key steps and create some of the documentation and potentially start chiseling away and taking some of those tasks off your plate. So that's like a very clear roadmap for someone like 123. Step number one, record everything in loom and organize it into place. Step number two, get a virtual assistants. Step number three, have that virtual assistant start to document and step number four, then let them to start taking some of those tasks over.

Chris Schwager 13:43

I don't want Brendan to be a stranger because I do steamroll virtually every meeting that we have, and we have daily WIPS with our team and Brendan's like why don’t you let one of the others talk today and we'll have to do a round robin. So Brendan, please jump in. Don't feel like you're going to be cutting anyone off?

Brendan Southall 14:03

True. No worries, I'll do that. That's pretty pretty much the only way I can get in a word in, isn't it?

Chris Schwager 14:13

No, so when recording those looms, I'm very particular about the title that I generate. That's the only thing I really care about is making sure that the title that I compose is clear and onpoint and you know, has that controlling idea built into it. So that when we do go back in it could be who knows? I mean, could be years, when we do go back and dig that up that we're at least able to find and understand roughly what the video would be about and it could be anything from a three minute recording to a 30 minute recording, depending on the process,

David Jenyns 14:48

And there's a few like little naming conventions that we've kind of come up with those sorts of things like a couple of general rules or things like if you can say the same thing, in less words, and retain the same meaning, do it. And you also want to think in terms of that's why that folder structure is important as well, because then it starts to give you indications on what this video is about, because the aim of the game with these videos is to go, if someone wanted to find this, and they sort of knew we had it, would they have a shot at finding it on their own? And that's where our as a marketing function, ah, that's got to do with social media are it's in that directory. Like it's that you want that feeling of someone being able to find it. And I think yeah, naming convention is really, really important. And that's why you need someone like a Brendan. So I am curious, Brendan, how and where are you storing this info? Like what tools are you -- Up to the driver's seat, I thought I'd give it a crack.

Brendan Southall 15:55

Thank you for that little segue That was perfect. So we do our systems. Firstly, we've got a flow chart. So we've got the overall flow of what are the major steps. And then from that, all these other documentations, templates, scripts, videos, all these different content pieces are then stored in at the moment, they're stored in Google Drive, and LinkedIn. So it's, I know the system has been we're currently looking at it system hub. And I'd love for you to chat about that as well.

David Jenyns 16:27

It doesn't really matter like and that was the big insight I had when I started system hub. And when I realized it's not about the software, it really isn't. As much as I'd love to be able to say system hub is the only solution and everybody needs to have this, you can make that there are some challenges with every platform. And there's pros and cons. But Google Drive just starting there. If you don't have any system, get a folder, start to talk about that folder structure I've got. And then the real key is when you think about, and this comes back to something that Chris was talking about this idea of being able to find it when you need it. And and part of that then becomes if you've got a project management platform, if you're running projects through a an Asana, a teamwork, PM, a Podio, or Monday or something like that, when you start to think about assigning tasks out to team members, the point at which you assign the task, you want to have the link to that video or that training at that point. So you might say, alright, this task is getting assigned to Sally to issue out an invoice to the client. And in the description, there's a link to how to issue out that invoice in MYOB. And that way she gets assigned the task, but if she can't do it, it makes it so much easier to reassign it to someone else. Because you've already got the how to document or training right there. That's, that's actually the real key is if you get that right, and you can really be saving them anyway.

Brendan Southall 18:00

Yes, exactly. And what about marketing managers, a lot of our listener base and clients, marketing managers, and I suppose they may or may not be controlled by the business owner, can they initiate writing systems and start to make their roles easier?

David Jenyns 18:17

I definitely think so. I had this discussion. And I don't know if your audience will be familiar this gentleman, Michael Gerber, he wrote the book called The E Myth, which is kind of like the the Bible when it comes to the system's world first small business. And we had this discussion with him. And he he said, Because initially when I started working on systemology, I kept on thinking, How do I take the business owner out of this equation? How do I just completely remove them and let the team go doling Systemising. And then he said, That's okay. But don't let the business owner off the hook because the business owner needs to be the one that starts this. They are the leader. They need to lead from example. They need to show the team that they're not above the law. And I'm not talking about that the business owner needs to be writing out the systems and the processes because they're usually the worst piece of people to do it. But what I'm talking about is saying to the team, this is important. This is how we do things here. Even when I go out on shoots, I follow the checklist, you know, to make sure I've packed all the equipment that I need for the shoot. So that the leader starts with that first. Once that happens, then depending on the size of your team, you need to start to get buy in from other team members.

But look, if you're a marketing manager, or you know someone on the team, and you

hear this and you go, ah, our business owner needs this, you get systemology the book from Amazon, you put it under the nose of the business owner, or if they're an audio person, you get them the audible, because I am a visionary, creative. And I got bitten by this idea of systems. I don't like writing systems and processes. I don't like documentation. Like that's not my thing. But I've fallen in love with the result. And the book is written for the visionary creative to go, I get it. I know why this is important. Even though I didn't think I was a systems person, I can see how this is going to work for us. And it helps to get there by and so it starts with the leader, and then kind of filters down. But if you're, like I said, a marketing manager, first step you got to get that business owners buy in, it's hard for you to go off and do this siloed off to the side, because they're, ultimately there's a good chance they'll undermine what it is that you're doing at some point. And so getting their buy in is key.

Brendan Southall 20:40

Yes, yeah. And I imagine some of the objections from a business owner would be, you know, I started this business so I could do what I'm passionate about, and I love it. Why would I want to give it to someone else? What's your response to that?

David Jenyns 20:51

So many different sort of objections and things that bubble up for business owners, and even team members that have been stuck in their ways for a long way. Like, if you've been working in a video business for the last five years, and you've always done things a certain way, if someone comes around you and says, Oh, we're going to capture your best practice, we're going to bring everybody up to that standard. Or, hey, we're going to change the way that we're doing things. It's like, why do I need to change? The business has been working fine up until now. And what's the need for change? Fortunately, right now, there's never been an easier time to systemize because you just blame COVID. And you say, hey, because of COVID, were working from home, things have change, you might get sick family member might get sick, you'll need time off. We just have to get a way of doing things so everybody can work. Virtually, we know how things operate. So that's one of the ways that you introduce it. As far as like for the business owner. And it's the same with every team member, you have to get down to what does the team member actually want? And what's important to them, like for the business owner, it's might be different. They might want to reduce stress or create time or make the business more profitable. Or who knows, maybe at some point, they might want to sell it or maybe they want to scale it, you have to find what's important to them. And then similarly, for team members. You don't say, Hey, we're Systemising because you know, Chris and Brendan, want to go lie on a beach and have large amounts of money deposited into their bank account with very little work. Like that's not going to get your team excited all.

You have to think about it. Yeah. In terms of the team members' benefit, and what is it that they want, they want to know that, you know, if I take a week off, Chris isn't going to be calling me up while I'm on vacation going or did you follow up this client because they're, you know, they're wanting to know where this project is at. And then they come back from their holiday, and then they spend the next four weeks catching up for the one week that they had off. That might appeal to someone by saying, well, by Systemising, we can get other people to step in. So when you have time off, you're gonna have time off and you come back and you hit the ground running for other people that might be you want to work up in the organization, we want to grow Ridge Films, we want to see it at that next level. So if you come in and you start Systemising, and delegating to lower cost team members that actually makes you more valuable because now as a videographer, we can get an assistant who comes along and does all of the packing and the preparing and the ingesting of the footage and getting the projects ready. So you only do your magic, the shoot and the editing process. So So you you have to find where someone's at and help them to see how systems are going to improve their position. So long answer short questions.

Brendan Southall 23:50

always comes back to the why, what why are you doing it? Why is it important? Why should people care?

David Jenyns 23:56

Some people they just want a small videography business where they have one or two clients that they work on and it's feast or famine and they just do it because it's a creative passion and that's part of the life that they’re leading. It's a different path to be a business owner of a video business than a solo freelance videographer like your business, there are different things that you're going to have to work on as a business owner, if you really want it to get to the point where it works without you.

Brendan Southall 24:26

Yes, yeah. And so back to team members, if they are working the process and find a better way, or they know what what gives them authority or, you know, the panel aren't supposed to want to change that system. And what, what typically do they do to go about doing that without offending the business owner?

David Jenyns 24:45

I feel like we're giving you advice on how to approach Chris.

Chris Schwager 24:49

Don't offend Chris.

David Jenyns 24:50

Firstly, a lot of it has to do with the culture that you build in the company. The real key here is we want to get to the point where team members go, this is how we do things here. And it's, it's not this is how we do things here. And we're rigid, and we're structured, and we follow this process. And we don't think and we remove creativity. Instead, it's, we hire really smart, creative people. And we use systems as a way to take all of the admin component out of their day and make the things happen that need to happen, you know, prepping a client for a shoot, issuing out an invoice, setting up the project and saving the folder structure in Google Drive, there's, there's a bunch of things that just have to happen. And we want to try and have that happen in a consistent manner, we make that happen with systems, and then that creates the space for the creativity. And we want to encourage constant and never ending improvement. If there are better ways to do things. I mean, you can find your process and your way.

I think initially though I say to most businesses, especially video businesses, you will get tremendous wins by just capturing your current best practice, you don't even need to invent anything new or optimize. Like if you just captured what was increases head with all of the experiences had doing the video stuff, and then develop the processes from there and get everybody up to that standard, you'll get huge wins just from that even before we start sort of changing and optimizing beyond that. But it kind of also depends where you're at and how long you've been doing it. You guys have been doing it for a little while. And, and really, Chris, as a business owner, he probably just wants to, he'd love the idea of this working without him. And the idea that team members can see him and then he can work on the projects that most interest him. And the things that really grabbed him and you find the more you do this, like I think about video business. We first started off with Melbourne video. And I started off with a fixed price video. And we created a real set package to tell like a your story type video. And we had a set price that was very systemized, that was the off the shelf thing, right?

Initially, my main videographer was overseeing that, but he wanted that more creative parts that just became like a cash flow engine in the business, where we put our new recruits and our new videographers through to learn the ropes and get the skills and wax on wax off. And then the higher end projects, we would leave that to Adrian. And they were the ones that didn't follow the systems and the rules as much or they had a different structure. And they had extra space for creativity because there was more of a budget built in to allow that for the project still to be profitable. So that was kind of just some ideas on how we approach that.

Chris Schwager 27:53

The thing is, and I want to clarify, I guess what the successes have been with us, you know, six years ago, sitting down and going, You know what, this is hard work, changing the rules on every inch of this business all the time. And we just exited out of a relationship we had with one of our clients just recently because no matter what we did, they did not follow our process. It makes our business run inefficiently. And it makes it very frustrating, very hard to do things the way they should be done when clients just won't comply. So we had to get rid of them. That was like our first fire of a client in years. But when Brendan I first sat down and started talking about this concept of productizing because what you've done with your story video, kind of off the shelf package is what we've done for 20 or 30 different videos. We are very systematized about our approach to video marketing, because we believe that clients needed an option that removed creative variables from the equation. And they're so unfamiliar with that concept when they approach us because they want to immediately jump into bed and go "Oh so we want to like shot on this, and we wanted here and we want this person to be on camera and we want to include this footage," it's like hang on a sec, let's pull it back and and start talking about communication. Let's just talk about why you want it what the problem is it solving.

And so it's very, it's almost to a point where if anyone throws in the deep end says, okay, so how much how much you want to pay for this video? It's so like, we have to stop them and say, Hang on a sec, we were not ready for that conversation. And so there's there is maturity of I guess, 20 years. And I'm feel like I'm trying to justify a position. But I just want to give clarity that even a creative business can be incredibly process orientated and process driven. And we've had a very interesting experience with our video editor where she's coming with that concept of like, well, isn't it all just creative and blah, blah, it's like, actually, you'll be surprised how regimented this is and it's like this, because we want to build a business that works without us. And we want things to run smoothly. And the only way that we can say to do that is to follow McDonald's philosophy. And, you know, it doesn't need to be that we everything's like crystallized but it's a progressive, ongoing process of continually looking for ways to do things better.

Chris Schwager 30:45

Video is everything. Because the world is now demanding that you appear on camera, it's time to get the skills of a professional presenter, go to ridgefilms.com.au/diy. Because Do It Yourself videos should be easy, and they should work.


Well, unfortunately, we've reached the end of part one in our two part series Video Made Simple with David Jenyns. But here's a teaser for next week's episode.

David Jenyns 31:31

Sometimes the client would have one picture in their head, the picture in your head is very different. And that misalignment end up causing issues and then their scope ?? and then there's extra edits and then can you change one small thing? Little did they know moving that scene changes the whole sound score and it changes the graphics, like that one little thing is one very very big thing. So having rules and structure, you want to find that balance and it might be we have one major edit and we have 2 minor. A major edit, we can move structure, change music blah blah, but as we get close to passing, we're not going back and changing up the things without additional costs.

Chris Schwager 31:58

Join us next week part 2 of The Boon of Business Systems: Save Time, Reduce Errors, and Scale Up with David Jenyns. You definitely don't wanna miss it.


SubscribeĀ to DIY Video for Professionals PodcastĀ for fresh insights delivered to your favourite podcast once a week. Like the show?Ā Ratings and reviews make a HUGE difference to helping serve you better.

Subscribe On iTunes

DIY Video For Professionals: Workshop

Learn how to save time, build consistency, and show up like a professional


Ridge Films Corporate Pty Ltd

[email protected]

PO Box 769Ā Marrickville

NSW 1475