VIPKID is a Chinese company, based in Beijing, that hires native English speakers to teach English to Chinese children online. I have been teaching with VIPKID since June 2020, and love it. I was teaching business English in person at companies in Spain before, but when COVID-19 hit, I was left without a job. A few of my friends taught English online for a competitor (GoGoKid) so I decided to look up all the teaching online opportunities.
I settled on VIPKID, went through the interview process, and began teaching. There are many people that say it takes forever to get bookings, but I was able to get bookings the very next day after I was hired. I wanted to work full time (35-40 hours per week) and I was able to accomplish that goal after the first month. Here are some tips that I highly recommend:
1. Open as Many Time Slots As Possible
At VIPKID, you decide how much or how little you would like to work. At the beginning, it is wise to open all the peak time slots, which is 6-9 pm in China. This is the most popular time in China for the children to take these classes. For time reference, the east coast of the US is 12 hours behind China. On the weekends, there are 12 hours of peak time slots as the children are not in school and have all day to take VIPKID English classes.
Make sure to open all the possible slots that you are available to teach. The peak times are the best, but I have other classes outside of the peak times as well, so open as many as you can to increase your chances of getting booked!
2. Short Notice Classes
For students to be able to book your class with less than 24 hour notice and up to one hour before the class, you need to turn “short notice” on. This will allow students to book you up to one hour before the class time. Also, if a student books you for a short notice class, you are paid $2 more for that class!
Short notice classes are a great way to fill in any gaps in your schedule and it makes you have a higher chance of getting your time slot filled!
3. Close and Reopen Slots Before You go to Bed
Some teachers say that if you have open time slots, make sure to turn them off and turn them back on before you go to sleep. It is supposed to kind of reset your schedule and make it look like you to parents that you have new slots available. I am not sure if this is 100% true but some teachers swear by it, so I did it in the beginning and I actually had some classes booked. Not sure if it’s coincidence or not, but I was willing to do anything to get bookings. Try it out!
4. Send E-cards to Students After Class
Chances are that your first classes will be lots of trials. Students are allowed to have a free trial lesson with VIPKID before they sign up. Make sure to do a great job in the trial, so they sign up and choose you as their teacher. That is how I was able to get some of my regular students. Also, if they sign up, you get an additional $5.
After the class, you can choose from a handful of premade e-cards to send to your student. This is really sweet and it reminds the student about you, increasing the chance of them booking you for classes! Click on the student’s name in the mobile app and click the option to send an e-card.
5. Send invitation requests to students
Another thing should do is to send invitation requests to students. Parents cannot book classes until every Monday at 12 pm Beijing time (midnight Sunday EST). They will be booking classes for following week. This time is called the “frenzy” because that is when most parents book their classes and you will get an influx of bookings.
You will want to send the invitation request the night before the frenzy so you are fresh in their mind when they are booking the classes. This invitation requests just reminds them about you and is asking them to book a class with you! You can send this request to any student that you have had at least one class with. If you click on their name in the mobile app, you will see this option.
6. Good Bio and Video
The parents will be looking at your profile to decide if they want to book your classes or not. So your profile photo, bio, and video are super important.
Your profile photo doesn’t have to be super professional. Mine is a selfie, but is shoulders up. You can see my picture below:
My video is short and sweet, and I literally just copied the example that they give you to reference. I made sure I had a cute background and had great energy in the video. I also used an app called “VideoShow” to edit my video and add a small sound effect to it to make it stand out from other videos. You can see my exact video below:
In my bio, I also kept it short and sweet. It reads: “Hi! My name is Sarah and I’m from the United States 🇺🇸 I have a degree in International Business and Finance👩🏼🎓 and am a certified English teacher!😀📚 I have been teaching English for 2 years! I love to cook, listen to music, travel, and spend time with my family!❤️ See you in class soon!☺️ “
VIPKID can be great for a side gig or become your full time job. Because of the steps I took above, I was able to make $1,100 in the first month I worked for VIPKID. There are other teachers who don’t receive any bookings until a few months in, but I am confident that if you follow these tips that you will start receiving multiple bookings and building up your student base.
VIPKID is my full time job now, and I was able to reach my goal of 35-40 hours every week by the second month working for them. I love working for VIPKID and I hope that you can find the same success as I have! If you have any questions, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on instagram: @sarahsplanet_