So you’ve been hired as a VIPKID teacher! Woohoo! This is an awesome way to make money and work remotely. Now comes the hard part: filling your teaching slots with students. I’m about to teach you exactly how to quickly get bookings with VIPKID.
I won’t lie to you, getting students to sign up for your classes might not be easy but it will be worth it. Once you have a steady stream of students coming in, you’ll be able to book students whenever VIPKID hours are available.
Some teachers have students booking classes right out of the gate. For others, it takes a bit longer. But, getting bookings with VIPKID can be done and with these steps, you’ll be able to start getting students quickly.
To legitimize myself and the methods I’m about to suggest, I’ve been a successful VIPKID teacher for nearly two years. I currently use VIPKID as my sole income to support full-time travel. Many of the teachers I have referred have also gone on to use this as their way to fund world travel. My schedule stays consistently full with about 70-75 classes (about 35 teaching hours) per week.
1. Is it January or February?
First and foremost, I want to address low VIPKID bookings during these two winter months. Unfortunately, Chinese New Year greatly affects VIPKID teachers and it’s important to understand, “I am getting low bookings because of Chinese New Year or because I’m doing something wrong?”
Check out this post for more information about Chinese New Year and low bookings during that extended period of time: Teaching With VIPKID During Chinese New Year.
2. Optimize Your Profile
This might seem obvious but some people completely underestimate how important their profile is.
If you threw your profile together in a matter of minutes, scribbled down a few of your qualifications, and put up a mediocre picture of yourself.. think twice.
VIPKID Profile Bio
Your profile is essentially a summary of your resume. The parents will read through profiles before deciding to book classes. Highlight your experience, education, and why they should book you. Be concise but be thorough.. Oxymoron? Possibly.
My bio reads:
Hello! My name is Laura. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota. I have over 10 years of experience teaching children. After graduating from University, I was an English teacher in an elementary school in Bangkok, Thailand and I continue to teach children everyday. I can’t wait to meet your child in class and help them learn English. I believe that learning is easy when you’re having fun, so I make all of my classes exciting and interactive. See you in the classroom!
Pro-tip: Copy and paste your bio into Google translate. Translate it to Chinese and then back again to English. Read your bio to be sure it makes sense when translated. Some teachers have run into booking problems because their bio isn’t translating well in Chinese.
VIPKID Profile Picture
That common phrase, “never judge a book by its cover” doesn’t hold true for VIPKID. The parents will absolutely judge teachers based on profile pictures. If your picture is unprofessional, it’s unlikely they will book you.
I suggest a profile picture that is professional yet matches your personality. Attractiveness is also key for profile pictures. Be sure to brush your hair and present yourself in a clean manner.
My profile picture is of me standing near a tree and smiling. There aren’t any shadows blocking my face and my outfit is something I would wear in a classroom full of children. Be yourself but be professional, too.
3. Don’t Wait to Open Slots
THIS IS IMPORTANT.
I REPEAT. THIS IS IMPORTANT.
I have found that the teachers who wait to open slots several weeks after they have signed their contract have a more difficult time getting bookings.
In my case, I signed my contract and immediately opened slots. I can’t guarantee the truth in this but I have noticed that teachers who wait a while to open slots don’t receive bookings right away.
The reason (that I believe) this happens is because VIPKID will place your profile at the top of the list of teachers as soon as you’re hired. This is more or less a boost for you to get noticed by parents. After the first week, your profile is moved down and newer teachers take over the top spots.
Therefore, it is smart to dive right into the world of teaching. Open those peak and peak-peak time slots as soon as you sign your contract.
4. Open PT and PPT Slots
Speaking of peak and peak-peak time slots..
These are the classes that are in high demand. Peak and peak-peak time slots are when most classes are booked. Opening these time slots will give you a much better chance of getting booked.
You can find peak and peak-peak time slots in the bookings tab. They will be labeled as “Hot” and “Hot” with a flame next to it.
5. Get Certified
Say whaaaat? You just did all of this work to get hired.. an interview, a demo class, and a mock class. Now you must get certified?
Yes. It’s true. When you are hired as a VIPKID teacher, they will give you one or two certifications to start out. Getting as many certifications as you can after being hired is very important for increasing your bookings with VIPKID.
Don’t be scared away, certifications are easy to acquire. Simply go to the certification tab on your teacher’s panel. Here you will find loads of certifications waiting for you. Some require a simple quiz, others require a quick and easy demo submission (you’ve done this in the demo and mock interview so it’ll be a breeze!).
I highly recommend getting the trial class certification when you first start. New teachers will get trial classes more often than main course classes. The pay is the same for trial classes and they are much easier to teach than the main course class, giving you extra time to practice.
6. Close and Re-Open Booking Slots
This one is an insider tip and it’s proved to be very successful for many, including myself. If you’re struggling with no bookings, this might just solve your problem.
When I first started teaching, I was receiving bookings but not as many as I wanted. I started implementing this trick each night:
At approximately 11am Beijing time (it was 7pm for my time zone), I would go to my bookings tab. Here, I would uncheck and close out all of the classes that hadn’t been booked yet. Then, I would refresh the webpage. On the refreshed page, I would open all of those slots again, making sure to check that 24hr button.
For some reason, this worked quite often. When teachers open short notice slots, parents are somehow alerted. This made it more likely to get a short notice booking or two. You’ll not only earn extra money from short notice bookings, but you might grab the attention of a student or two (hello regulars!!).
I would implement this trick EVERY NIGHT until you start to see your VIPKID booking rate increase to a steady flow of classes.
7. Open Short Notice Classes
In order to start getting bookings with VIPKID, I highly recommend using the short notice button. This “short notice” button will allow students to book classes with you up to 1hr before the class starts.
Pro-tip: If you have short notice classes open for early morning spots, be sure to set your alarm in the morning. You will want to make sure nobody booked you for a class while you were sleeping. A “teacher no show” might not look great, especially if you’re new.
8. Read the Weekly Newsletters
Each week, VIPKID will send out a newsletter recapping news, important information, and updates. As a new VIPKID teacher, it is important to read these newsletters and become familiar with the company.
But the main reason to read this newsletter is that more often than not, VIPKID will offer a way for you to broadcast yourself to parents. This could mean completing a simple course, making a short video about yourself, or even just opening the correct time slots.
When I first started with VIPKID, they were offering the Jumpstart Program 3.0. After a quick recorded lesson, VIPKID would personally recommend you to parents. This helped me quickly fill my teaching schedule.
VIPKID has run many programs similar to this throughout my time with the company. If you’re looking to fill your schedule as quickly as possible, pay attention to those newsletters and take part in their programs!
9. Be Persistent
As a new teacher, you’re looking to get classes. Quickly. The most annoying thing I heard when I first started out was, “just be patient, the classes will come.”
EVERYONE told me this. But I didn’t want to wait.
The good news is you can absolutely speed up the process with these steps. However, the most important step is to be persistent. If you aren’t receiving bookings right away, don’t give up. Continue with the above steps and the bookings WILL come. I have never met a VIPKID teacher who didn’t receive bookings.
It took me approximately 3 months to become fully booked. Now, a year later, I am working with VIPKID full-time (35 hours per week).
10. Turn On Your Rebooking Function
After you’ve completed your trial class certification, the easiest way to increase your VIPKID bookings is by turning on your trial class rebooking function.
Basically, this allows VIPKID to rebook your trial class if your current student is a no show.
VIPKID likes when teachers have this function on because it means that they can get more students into the classroom. With this function on, you’re likely to see an increase in trial classes.
To turn on your trial class rebooking option, go to My Info > Account Center. On the left-hand side menu, click Enable Trial Rebooking. Then, toggle the little button on the screen.
11. Get Your TESOL Advanced Certification
Another way to increase VIPKID bookings is to get your TESOL Advanced certification.
I have heard from other teachers that this has greatly increased their bookings immediately after completing the certification. If you haven’t yet, I would give it a try!
More Ideas To Increase VIPKID Bookings
Before you dive into this section of the blog post, I want to be open and honest about these ideas to increase your bookings. I have never tried these tricks, so I cannot be certain if they will work or not. But, in my opinion, it’s worth a try.
I’ve always believed that VIPKID is an awesome opportunity for anyone that holds a Bachelor’s degree. The ability to work from home and earn money whenever it fits your schedule? Heck yes!
Although I’ve never had a problem getting bookings, I know other people who are struggling to get bookings. With that said, here are some more ideas to help increase your classes.
I just learned about the VIPKID Teacher Spotlight a few days ago. The Teacher Spotlight helps teachers gain more exposure to parents. You can upload a video of your classroom and your teaching skills, which will later be displayed for parents to watch.
If they like what they see, you might just earn a few new students and even some regulars!
I’ve also heard that they will be doing some video “challenges”. VIPKID will give participating teachers a topic; it will be your job to create a video relating to that topic. This will help the parents get to know you better.
If you are eager to get the ball rolling with bookings, I suggest checking out this new feature on your dashboard.
Pull An All-Nighter
I’ve heard murmurs going around that pulling an all-nighter and opening classes for the entire night can help you get more classes when you first start teaching.
I actually had a referral that pulled a few all-nighters during her first month of teaching (February 2020) and saw a MAJOR rush of classes. She ended up teaching 426 classes that month (way more than I have ever done).
Even if you aren’t a brand new VIPKID teacher, it’s worth a shot to see if you can gain more exposure.
The other day, I went to my VIPKID app on my phone to send some e-cards to my regular students. As I was navigating to the e-cards, I noticed a small gift box at the top of my student’s profile.
After clicking on this gift box, I was brought to a screen that said, “You can send a request to your student’s parents to receive their mailing address.”
Now, before I get too far into this, I’m not telling you to go out and shower your students with gifts. I’m a huge advocate for saving as much money as possible because ultimately we’re teaching with VIPKID to MAKE money, not spend it (seriously, I don’t even buy props).
But, I think it might be worth grabbing a few cheap postcards from Amazon and sending out some of these to your recent students. I remember when I was a kid, I LOVED getting mail. And while e-cards are nice, it might be cool to stand out from the crowd and send physical mail.
Here are some cheap postcards that you can grab from Amazon:
After receiving physical mail from you, I can’t see a parent NOT booking more classes with you… I know I would! From there, it’s usually a domino effect. If one or two students are taking your classes, others follow.
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The Wrap-Up: Low Bookings with VIPKID
Every VIPKID teacher has a different journey, but EVERY teacher will struggle with low bookings when starting. The best thing to remember is that the bookings WILL come with a bit of persistence. My best advice is don’t give up. This job is well worth the little bit of wait time.
Want To Teach With VIPKID?
If you haven’t started the VIPKID application process yet, click on this link to begin: VIPKID Teach. Use referral code LAURA0279, which will make me your VIPKID referral. Once you use my code, send me an email so I know (firstname.lastname@example.org) and then I’ll be able to help you through the arduous process!
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