I never set out to build an associate team when I first started Kylee Ann Studios.
I didn’t even know what an associate team was. After my second baby, Pipe, was born, my business had exploded. I was booking over 20 weddings a year, family pictures, birth stories and starting to host workshops and classes too.
I was so overwhelmed so one day I posted on Instagram that I was hiring. I posted on Instagram and got 50 emails within minutes. Rachel was one of them. You can read here whole story here. But to sum it up…she had invested in me, and proven to me she was willing to do whatever I needed. She offered to watch my kids, clean my house, do photography tasks and more. And I took her up on all of it. She helped me pack my house, painted furniture, took stuff to the post office and more.
After about six months of working for me, she was helping me at a workshop when someone came up to me and asked if I would ever bring on Rachel as a photographer. And that was the beginning of my team. I had never thought of bringing Rachel on as an associate but by the next week, she was already contracted and booking her own clients through Kylee Ann Studios. We don’t do things slow around here when they feel right.
WHAT DOES MY BUSINESS NEED
When I start feeling overwhelmed, burnt out, stressed, I lean into the question, “what does my business need?” Every person on this team was brought on like Rachel. I opened up the opportunity, trusted my gut and found the perfect person to fill in.
When I’m hiring new team members, I am not looking for the best photographer, marketer, assistant, etc. While those things are important, they can be taught. I’m really looking for someone who’s grateful, kind, teachable, willing to learn and excited to learn. They also need to be self-motivated and really on top of things. That’s what my business is built on — kindness and efficiency.
I’m never looking for someone who just wants a great job. I want someone who is here for the whole package – the team, this team, our sisterhood.
MY HIRING PROCESS
When I post about hiring, I try to keep it pretty open ended. A lot of my best hires have been found when I simply say “Email me why you’d be a good fit for our team.” I do this to find those people that are going to put in effort and really sell themselves to me.
I’m a gut girl. I think it drives my husband crazy that every time I hire I toss out the emails that are short or too formal even if their resume is solid and their portfolio is the best. 😂I know they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing, but I can’t feel it.
My hiring process is: prayer, acting on faith and trusting in promptings. I know it’s unconventional, but it has worked for me time and time again. I know that I without a doubt have the right people on my team. Women that are kind, grateful, teachable and excited. Not people just looking for an incredible job, but the whole package — sisterhood.
We currently have four photographers, an editor, one videographer and two assistants! Every quarter we are growing and adding more team members!
When someone joins my team, they go through a virtual training that I’ve created for all my new hires. Each position has different courses. After they take classes on all the different things we do, we do an in-person question and answer. Then. I have them shadow me on shoots. It doesn’t take long before I throw them to the wolves and let them figure it out for themselves. The best way to learn is hands on.
I do have a contract that includes a non-compete, non-disclosure, non-solicitation and intellectual property.
PERKS OF HAVING A TEAM
A lot of people think that a bigger team means more money but that’s not what I see…
My team is my family, my emotional support and cheerleaders. The pinned group chat at the top of my phone for all the things…
➕ABILITY TO SERVE MORE PEOPLE.
I see a group of talented people that can serve and influence more people more efficiently than ever. We have grown bigger, faster, stronger because we work together and work to each team member’s strength.
➕OPPORTUNITIES TO COACH WOMEN.
I find so much joy and fulfillment in helping my girls see their potential, set and crush their goals and provide amazing incomes for their families.
t’s been so motivating for me to help them do that for their families and to prove to their husbands and their friends and all the naysayers in their life that they are successful and crush it as moms.