I started teaching online in June 2016. The first school I applied to was VIPKid. I actually quit VIPKid in June 2017, then I reapplied in November 2018 (see why I quit VIPKid on my YouTube channel). The first time I applied, I didn’t have a problem with low bookings. The second time I applied, there were no bookings the first month. The main strategy I used to get booked was opening “peak, peak” times; the most popular hours students take lessons. For me, that meant I had to wake up way earlier than I prefer; 5:30 am and 6:00 am Central time. Besides opening up those peak, peak times I used a few other strategies. In my search to find out how to get booked, I also found a lot of suggestions online in Facebook groups and on YouTube. I compiled 8 tips for no bookings at vipkid.
Eight Tips for No Bookings at VIPKid
Tip Number 1
I opened up peak, peak times because I know that’s when most students take classes. While it’s 5:30 am for me, it is 7:30 pm in China. The majority of students take classes around dinner time.
I noticed that some of the students that booked me were newer students. That leads me to believe that their system connects newer teachers with newer students in order to help teachers with bookings.
Tip Number 2
I think I lucked out because I got hired around the holidays. Therefore, I got booked for the first time the week before Christmas when a lot of teachers took time off. My very first student booked me on December 19th and the majority of my slots filled moving forward.
Something I found interesting: even though I didn’t pass my level 4/5 certification the first time, all of the students that booked me were level 4 or 5.
I wonder if this has to due with my experience and my introduction video.
Tip Number 3
Something else that helped me was taking advantage of the Ni How You Doin’? video promotion that VIPKid offered. This promotion put teachers’ videos in front of parents who could then follow those teachers. I only got a few followers from that promotion, but better some than none, right?
Eventually, I moved up to 14 followers after getting booked that first week.
Tip Number 4
I made a great decision to get certified for levels 2 through 4 before signing my contract. Even though the company put a lot of pressure on me to sign my contract right away, I decided to wait until I certified for everything except level 2 interactive.
By the time I prepared for and passed levels two through four, I was slightly burned out and just wanted to start teaching. I am not sure if powering through level 2 interactive would have made a huge difference in getting booked sooner.
Tip Number 5
Another tip I heard along the way: open and close bookings frequently, but especially before the booking frenzy. I didn’t get to put this into practice because I didn’t make time to close my slots and re-open them every Sunday before the booking frenzy due to other obligations. Comment below if you tried this, and tell me if it worked for you or not.
We don’t know exactly how VIPKid’s system works, but every system has a code and that code can prioritize you based off of certain tricks. I think this is one of those types of tricks.
Tip Number 6
Short notice is an obvious trick, but it wasn’t the trick for me. If I wake up earlier than I have to, I want to ensure I get paid for it. Otherwise I waste my precious energy for nothing. However, if you are a morning person, then this is a great way to get bookings because there is always a chance of a student opening a session last minute. All you have to do to book short notice is click a little button when you book your slots.
Tip Number 7
Another great option is to open up bookings a month in advance. That shows both parents and the company that you are available for a long time and that you are dedicated to your work. Again, this is something that relates to the system noticing your habits, and therefore improve your chances of getting booked. The system does pay attention to booking habits, because teachers worry about no bookings after taking extended time off.
Tip Number 8
The final suggestion is to open up slots on weekends. Most teachers want to take off a couple days a week or at least one day a week. A recruiter told me that he tells his referrals to open up weekend slots. So this is a tip is coming from someone who has experience helping a lot of teachers get booked. Even if you don’t want to work weekends forever, this is a great way to get started. Once you get parents to follow you it will increase your chances of getting booked with more people.
Did I miss any tips for no bookings at vipkid? Let me know in the comments. Also, if you have used any of the tips above let me know what your experience was with them.
I plan to get certified for Level 2 Interactive very soon and I will let you guys know if that changes anything with my bookings. For January I have been getting booked consistently, but if I start to get more Level 2 Interactive courses it must mean that course is in high demand. I know the company encourages people to get certified for that course, so I figured it would be beneficial to do it.
Watch my YouTube video related to No Bookings at VIPKid. If you are an audio-visual person, you will enjoy it!
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