Become a Hot Commodity to Parents! – How to Build your Online ESL Business

Build your Online ESL Business

Because you’re here I’m going to take a wild guess: making a good impression on the parents of your VIPKID students matters to you. And it should! Leaving great feedback for your students’ parents is just one way that you can retain regular students…but what if you’re not getting the students in the first place?

Let me encourage you to consider VIPKID from the perspective of a business owner.  After all, that’s essentially what VIPKID encourages you to be. You are an independent contractor, for better or for worse. Your approach to attracting parents to book your classes will have a direct impact on your success.  

And let’s be mindful of the fact that the approach you take requires a serious time commitment.  So let’s make the most of your time as you work to attract parents! After all, your ability to retain customers—loyal parents who repeatedly book your classes—only matters if you’ve attracted parents to book your classes in the first place.

So, how do we convince parents that we’re a hot commodity?

As you’ll learn in the video below, we must take into consideration these Four Pillars to Building a Successful VIPKID Business:

Kristina Garcia goes through 4 steps to getting more VIPKid bookings.

1) Your Profile

2) Your Availability

3) Your Exposure

4) Your Self-Improvement

Let’s break it down a bit more.  

1) Your Profile

It should come as no surprise that your profile is the first pillar.  After all, it’s where you make your first impression! Changing your photos, video, and written description can supercharge your success because you stop parents in their tracks. Consider these three tips:

  • Choose photos that are bright, clear, and colorful
  • Create a video that accurately depicts your personality
  • Play up your experience with kids in your written bio description
VIPKID Teacher
VIPKID Teacher

Note: Look at the difference between these two photos, both taken with my webcam. I took the left photo at night using artificial lighting. I took the right photo the following morning, using natural light from a window. Which is more eye-catching to parents?

2) Your Availability

Online Teaching Schedule

It’s true that life gets in the way and many people have limited availability to teach for VIPKID. But be 

honest with yourself; you may be able to open more slots than you’d like to admit. Many successful VIPKID teachers built their student base by considering the following booking time factors: quantity, quality, and consistency.

When deciding which slots to open, consider these three tips:

  • Rearrange your personal schedule as much as possible to as many slots as you can (quantity)
  • Make it a priority to open slots during “Peak Time” and “Peak Peak Time” and use the 24-hr button (quality)
  • Commit to a consistent schedule so that parents can see that you will be available to stay with their student as they continue the VIPKID program (consistency)

3) Your Exposure

Get your name out there any way you can!  Sometimes VIPKID will make an announcement requesting that teachers get involved with special projects. By using teachers’ contributions,  VIPKID creates extra content for students. To get involved with these projects, consider these three tips:

  •  Read the Weekly Update that VIPKID sends to teachers via email every Monday. This is the first place you’ll hear about new projects.
  • If you have an idea for creating a Virtual Field Trip or you’d like to get involved with another project (such as doing a voiceover for a book in VIPKID’s virtual library), send a Freshdesk ticket to see if the company is interested in your idea.
  • Be persistent and keep the ideas coming! Projects usually are only available for a limited time, so keep a list of ideas you’d like to share with the VIPKID world.

4) Your Self-Improvement

As teachers, we are also students. We owe it to ourselves to work hard to become the best possible version of ourselves! There are tons of ways you can become a better VIPKID teacher, but Consider these three tips:

  •  Attend VIPKID workshops!  Every week VIPKID offers several dozen free webinar style workshops.  There’s a wide variety of topics, everything from trial classes to TPR. There’s no limit to the number of workshops you can attend but the required registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Check under the “Academy” tab or in your Weekly Update for the latest workshop schedule.
  • Commit at least 15 minutes per day to learning about these topics: VIPKID, teaching online, and teaching ESL. Explore your VIPKID portal, the Hutong, and YouTube to enjoy the plethora of information that will make you a better—and unforgettable—teacher!
  • Request a free, 1:1 Mentoring Session with a VIPKID mentor! You can request these 45-minute sessions whether you’re a new or seasoned VIPKID teacher. To schedule a session, simply follow this navigation from your desktop computer: Support tab ➡ “Bookings, Cancellations & No Shows” ➡ “Class Bookings- FAQ” ➡ “What can I do to increase my bookings?”➡ Link in #6 that says “registering here”


Happy teaching! After reviewing these simple steps on how to build your online ESL business, here is your definitive guide to getting more VIPKid bookings. 

🙂 Tina “Teacher Tina” Garcia