VIPKID: How To Get Bookings
A great starting point is to make sure you understand how parents book you and how to properly open your booking slots. Erin has a great video all about this! After you understand how to open slots and all the technical stuff you can focus on getting booked and increasing your booking rate!
Step 1 • Ensure Certifications are visible
If your certifications aren’t showing up, parents literally can’t see or find you!
Login to your teacher portal on a computer. On the home page on the left hand side, it will list your certifications. When you first log on, you may not see any certifications at all! Sometimes it just takes a couple of days for you to get processed and fully in the VIPKid’s system. If your certifications still aren’t showing up or your certifications seem to be wrong, send in a ticket in the Support Center expressing your concerns and VIPKID will get back to you.
Update: The teacher portal may be changing again! Check under your Certification tab to make sure your certifications are showing there! They will be labeled as “certified” or “completed” and be colored in if they are showing up correctly!
Step 2 • Have 5 teacher tags
Teacher tags are something that are assigned by your Mock Class Mentor during the hiring process. All of these tags are positive and help the parents search for the kind of teacher best suited to their child. For example, parents can filter by teachers with a “patient” tag or “ESL Beginner Techniques” if that is what they think their child needs. Request your teacher tags by submitting a ticket in the Support Center! There may not be a specific category available for “teacher tags”, but don’t worry, the ticket will make it’s way to the correct person. There are no “good” or “bad” tags, the important thing is that you have the maximum number of tags, five. This will maximize your search-ability and ensure that the parents and students best suited to you can find your profile. If you have less than 5 tags, request that you get 5! Often, they will send you a list and allow you pick a few more to add to your profile if you had less than 5 originally.
Step 3 • Make yourself as available as possible!
This is crucial, because in my opinion this is the number one thing you should be doing to get yourself booked. Open as many slots as humanly possible and click that short notice button. Many of the first classes teachers get are short notice bookings that trickle in throughout the week. I know a lot of people worry about opening too many slots or teaching a bunch of back to back classes, but don’t! The best way to jump-start your bookings is to open up all of the slots you could possibly teach for the next three weeks and then close them to create gaps in your schedule as you feel necessary.
A large number of teachers teach their first class on a weekend or holiday. If you can open up weekend and/or holiday slots, I highly recommend you do so!
Step 4 • Get the MC Trial 3.0 Certification!
I recommend getting the MC Trial 3.0 certification as soon as possible! It has helped soooo many new teachers get the ball rolling when first starting out! It will help you get more bookings right away because someone at VIPKid helps the parents schedule a trial class with an available teacher. As a new teacher opening up a bunch of slots that probably aren’t all getting booked, this makes you a prime candidate to get those Trial class bookings. Having your open class time slots marked as “short notice” will also help you get Trial classes because a lot of these are booked short notice (within 24 hours of class time).
Step 5 • Get more certifications
You can get certified to teach more levels after you’re hired! Check your Certification tab to see what you can get certified in right away. That is also where you can check the requirements and prerequisites for different certifications so that you can start working towards being certified for more level classes. More level certifications means more parents and students who can see your profile and book your classes!
70% of VIPKID students are currently in Interactive Level 2! Go get this certification!
This involves reading through some materials, taking a short quiz (which you can take as many times until you pass) and submitting a 10 minute demo video of you teaching a class from that level. There’s no “Mock Class” with a live person. Are these certifications available to get right away? Basically. You just have to have the adjacent certification to try for the next.
Everyone is eligible to get the MC TRIAL 3.0 Certification. Do it!
If you’re certified to teach only Level 2/3 upon hire, you can get the Level 4 certification right after your hired. You have to be certified in Level 4 before you can be certified in Level 5.
If you’re certified to teach only Levels 4 & 5 upon hire, you can get the Level 3 certification right after your hired. You have to be certified to teach Level 3 before you can get certified to teach Interactive Level 2.
To get certified in level 1 and level 6 you have to teach a certain number of classes before you can even apply to get these and be certified in the adjacent level.
Step 6 • Trick the System
Close and reopen all your slots the night before. Some teachers swear by this trick! Before they go to bed for the night they close and reopen all their slots that are not booked. The theory is that this may boost your visibility by registering as opening “new” slots. Just remember to click that “short notice” button or else none of your classes will be able to book in under 24 hours. And don’t forget to set your alarm to wake up and check your schedule BEFORE your first open slot to see if any classes have booked. You really do not want a teacher-no-show as one of your first classes!
Step 7 • Peak Peak Times
Especially if you are certified to teach Trial Classes, let your “Peak Peak Time/Peak Time” slots “expire”. Another rumor we have heard is that opening up PPT slots and then letting them expire (instead of closing them) will make you more likely to be booked for trials. The theory here is that if you have many “expired” PPT time slots, VIPKid will make you more of a priority for scheduling classes because you can teach during their peak hours and are showing initiative.
Step 8 • Teach Well
Make sure the first few classes you do book are amazing! You are going to want to teach your heart out and give a great class and great feedback to your students. This is always important as a teacher, but in the beginning, it is crucial because converting students to regulars is one of the best ways to build a client base! Plus, not to freak you out, but parents can watch clips of your classes on your profile, so make sure your classes look great, so other parents want to book you too! (Also, you cannot see these clips anywhere, they are only on the parent side, so try not to stress about them. Just focus on delivering an amazing class!) You will want to build rapport with your student, correct consistently, and provide great feedback about what they did well, what they can practice, and how much you would love to see them again. In my opinion, it doesn’t hurt to ask for feedback in the beginning either! Getting feedback from from your first few classes may take awhile , but when it happens you may see a jump in bookings. After all, how likely are you to try a product off of Amazon that has no reviews?
Step 9 • Gain Knowledge
View all the helpful videos in the “Library” tab. Take workshops when you can. Even though we have been told that parents do not necessarily see a list of what workshops we take, many teachers have reported bookings coming in right after taking workshops! This suggests that maybe there is a tag or something that the parents CAN see that will help get your bookings. Also, the Learning Partners can see which workshops you take and can recommend you to the parents. You can always add that workshop experience into your bio, too! Workshops will help you get familiar with the platform and become a better teacher. You could also consider getting a TESL or TEFL certification online or work towards completing the TESOL-VIPKID certification!
Step 10 • Sell Yourself
You are a product now! Learn how to market yourself! Update your profile pictures and your video. Find out what makes you stand out so that they want to book you! I have Bob, my dinosaur, in my intro video and ALL of my students meet Bob. Erin has a cat and so many of her kids are looking for her cat! Be the cat- or dinosaur-lady!
Make sure your profile picture is a very close, high-resolution picture, because it is teeny tiny on their end. Wear a color that will make you pop (like orange)! Make sure it has great lighting and puts your best foot (or face) forward! Make sure your two other pictures show off your personality. If you can show off your family, pets, or a hobby, that is a great idea! I have a fun picture with my nephew and with my dog. Personally, pictures with kids and animals are my recommended go to.
Your video should reflect you, be clean, be eye-catching, and be professional! Make sure you are well lit, show your classroom, and that you are well-framed. You don’t want to be talking about your experience here. Tell them your name, show some clips of what your class is like, and tell them you want to see them soon, or something along those lines. Speak slowly and clearly, you are selling yourself to non-native speakers. Show what makes you unique! Do not just do a voice-over, make sure you show what it looks like when you are speaking at the camera. Make sure it is about 20-40 seconds long. Make sure you are looking into the camera lens! Make sure your camera is on a stable surface, not being held. Smile! Be enthusiastic!
In your bio, sell yourself in a short sales pitch! State your name and say hello. List your experience, especially highlighting your education, and play up your experience with kids. It is very important to talk yourself up in short simple sentences. Then state what your teaching style is and then give a snippet about yourself. Welcome them to your classroom! Make sure you run it through a translator a few times to ensure the meaning isn’t lost in translation. Consider getting some ESL certifications to add to your profile! You can take a TESOL or TEFL course online and VIPKID will add your certification to your profile. Plus, you can add it into your bio on your profile.
Step 11 • Be patient!
VIPKid itself says it may take a few weeks to get booked, especially since they have so much to process and review for your profile. They are reviewing your photos, video, translating your bio, etc. Do not worry if you are a week in with no bookings! That is totally normal. Just take this time to go through everything else on this list!
Hopefully this helps you get some bookings! This is the advice that both Teacher Erin and I followed, and we have both achieved our desired schedules.
Happy teaching! -Teacher Sydney