One continuous conversation in Vipkid teacher communities is about low bookings- what causes them, and how to fix the problem. We all want a full schedule, and at times, it seems like we have little control over who books our classes.
I’ve been with VIPKID for nearly 3 years and I have never struggled with low bookings. I know it’s a combination of luck and skill, but I have some honest advice that you may not hear other teachers admit to you. Watch this video first:
Now, here is my checklist for low bookings.
1. Fix your participation score. This is a score that is visible to parents, showing your percentage of classes completed, accounting for no-shows, cancellations, and IT problems. Some of this may be out of your control (weather related issues, medical emergencies) and some is definitely in your control (oversleeping, not charging equipment, weak WiFi). For you to have optimal bookings, you need a 100% score. Sorry, you’ll not get a lot of sympathy here. So many people complain about bookings, but they regularly oversleep, cancel classes, or have IT issues. You need to be responsible and dependable. This will directly affect your bookings.
2. Create a consistent, predictable schedule. Chinese parents are working your classes into an already busy schedule for their kids. They want to find a regular teacher that had consistent class times available. You need to pick a schedule and stick with it, ideally for 3+ months. If you open and close your schedule “Willy-nilly,” parents will not come back to your profile consistently. Pick a schedule, stuck to it, and open your classes way in advance.
3. Quit being picky about certifications. Blunt advice: if you are struggling with bookings, you don’t have the luxury of choosing certain certifications. You need them ALL. I cannot stand it when a teacher complains about bookings, but at the same time refuses to get certifications because they “prefer only older students” or “don’t like teaching supplementary classes.” Beggars can’t be choosers. If you want classes, you need to get as many certifications as possible. It’s a simple supply and demand problem. Be brave, get the certification, and try some new kinds of classes.
These are the “big three” for me, when giving advice about bookings. You have to be dependable in your participation score, have a predictable schedule, and be available to teach all different kinds of classes. Once you have those three things squared away, you can focus on other “tweaks” like your profile.
4. Ask a veteran teacher to give honest advice about your profile. Don’t just randomly “try a new picture” or “re-edit your video.” You have a myopic point of view. Ask someone for another perspective, someone who will say, “Honestly, your lighting is terrible,” or “Your bio paragraph doesn’t highlight your education and experience.” If they’re telling you that everything is perfect, they’re probably just being nice. Get someone who will actually gives you constructive criticism.
Other tips that MAY or MAY NOT make a difference:
5. Do an overnighter. I cannot speak from experience, but some teachers swear by this method. It opens up your availability to new students and different students.
6. Send previous students an e-card on the VIPkid app, thanking them for a great class. This just puts your name in front of them again, offering a positive connection point. They have cards that say, “Haven’t seen you in a while! Book me again!” Or course, you have to have some students to begin with for this method.
7. Improve your teaching with mentor-led workshops in the vipkid portal. It’s not a direct correlation- more workshops, more bookings- but it’s definitely going to help, not hurt.
8. Write “I would love to become your regular teacher” in feedback. This is a bit forward, but I think it helps parents know that you want to see their student again and it was a good connection.
9. Reply to parent feedback on the teacher portal. When a parent takes time to write a comment or rating, I always reply. It connects you with the parent and builds the relationship.
10. Be patient. Seriously. Don’t complain about low bookings until you’ve put in at least three months. It takes that long to learn the platform, figure out your schedule, get certifications. You WILL NOT have a full schedule your first month of teaching. Temper your expectations. Be dependable, teach the best you possible can, and have fun with the classes you get!
Please let me know if you’d like some individual advice or a fresh perspective. I’d love to talk you through it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for watching and reading!