Why you should read this

Are you an online English teacher working with platforms such as VIPKid or DadaABC? Do you want to increase your bookings and market yourself better? Part 2 of our blog ‘10 ways to improve your booking’ focuses on using Chinese social media.

6. Use WeChat smart

How to use the different functions of WeChat


If you teach English to Chinese students, you probably have already installed the WeChat mobile app to communicate with your students or their parents. What started as a mobile messaging app by the Chinese tech giant Tencent now has over 1.2 billion monthly active users from a wide range of age groups.

Here are several reasons you should make much better use of WeChat:

(1) WeChat started as a Chinese Facebook. A WeChat Moment is similar to a Facebook post for people to follow, share, like and comment.

(2) WeChat is ever involving its functions. Its extension into publishing (WeChat official/subscription account), short video sharing (WeChat Channel) and group management (WeChat Group) can be very relevant to online teaching and learning.

(3) WeChat is becoming like Google within its own closed system. At the moment, one can already use WeChat to search content by keywords and hashtags. Search result is displayed by type of medium: video, moments, article, novel, Q&As. This means students can use WeChat as a search engine to find English language content and source online English teachers.


These trends above mean you can use WeChat beyond its chat function. You can use it as a:

  • Marketing platform to market your credential and experiences so parents can share your profile among their immediate friends and family circles. You can get your name out that way.
  • Service platform to recruit students directly. If you get your profile to the right audience, it means you can reach parents directly and recruit students yourself.
  • Community platform to manage a group of students before/during/after your online teaching sessions. You can send and receive assignments, arrange regular Q&A time, take and give feedback this way.


Are you interested in using WeChat to support your online teaching? Let us start by our WeChat for Branding workshops.

Our workshop on using WeChat for teaching is on its way. Email admin@improveyourbookings.com to register your interest.

7. Positioning, Positioning, Positioning


To improve bookings, you can also recruit students directly beside working with platforms such as VIPKid, Qkids or DadaABC. Social media such as WeChat will be extremely valuable channels to do so. But this requires more efforts and planning. First of all, there is the fundamental issue of your own positioning.

Do you teach a particular group of students, for example, children around 4 years old? Do you specialize in a particular set of English language skills such as oral communication? Do you focus on a specific area, maybe English in a professional environment? Is there a lot or a little competition in your niche area? What makes you special in serving your student segment in terms of qualification and experience? What will be your unique selling point (USP)?


There are some useful templates to explore, discover and define your unique positioning. It is about matching your own background to the needs of your users, to locate the perfect sweet spot for you.


Please download persona templates for parent, student and teacher as a way to strategically position yourself.

8. Use Chinese social media

Chinese social media vs. Western social media


If you don’t live in China, the best way to market yourself and recruit your students will be online. Beside WeChat, online English teachers are using other social media platforms. Each platform has its own positioning and therefore own audience profile. Again, it is important to map your positioning with the platform’s positioning to find the best fit.


It takes time and effort to create profiles and content on social media, so it is not a casual decision on which platform to use and how to do it. There are many things to consider such as number of active users and, , whether it is feasible to register as a none-Chinese user. But the most important criteria is to find the right platform.

Let us take one example here. 小红书 (Little Red Book, a Chinese Instagram equivalent) is a platform with the slogan ‘to label/brand my life’. Users post photos and videos about their travel, skincare, fashion and cooking. More than 80% of its users are female, concentrated on the 25-35-year age group. If you plan to be in the travel or lifestyle English category, this could be an ideal channel to tap into.


Are you interested in evaluating which Chinese social media platform you should consider working with as an online English teacher? Our workshop on working with Chinese social media is on its way. Email admin@improveyourbookings.com to register your interest.

9. Work with influencers

The benefit of online English teachers to work with influencers


Another way to get your name out is to work with good digital partners who can promote you to the right audience. The right partner could be a social media influencer (网红) or a Key Opinion Leader (KOL:意见领袖).

The first reason to engage influencers and KOLs is that Chinese society in general enjoys a higher level of conformity. When parents make purchase decisions, they are more inclined to check opinions of their families, colleagues, friends, and of social media influencers and opinion leaders.

Secondly, many parents lack the ability and language skills to choose and evaluate English teaching platforms and teachers. Facing the many choices of varying price and quality, they look for trusted opinions and recommendations. This has created a demand for KOL who can provide credible and impartial opinions, as experts in their area such as language education or parenting skills.

Therefore, if you can get endorsement from these KOLs, you will be in a good position to attract students and improve bookings.


Complementarity, relevance and compatibility are the three principles to choose the right promotional partners.

Principle of complementary: Let’s take the example that you specialise in improving high school students’ writing skills. A complementary partner could be an expert in advising Chinese students to apply for universities in English speaking countries. That means you offer something different but valuable to his/her followers. There’s an incentive for collaboration.

Principle of relevancy: A social media influencer in cooking Chinese food might have millions of followers but this is not a relevant partner. One that specialises in parenting could be.

Principle of compatibility: This means there is overlap between your audience and your promotional partner’s audience. It also means compatible size of influence. For example, if you just start to teach Chinese students English, it will be hard to convenience an influencer with millions of followers to collaborate with you immediately.


Are you interested in choosing the right digital promotional partner? Book our workshop – understand Chinese Parents to find out more.

10. Manage your own community

manage your own community on Chinese social media


If you have recruited your own online students to teach English, and if you want to go beyond the 1-1 online tutoring model, you should look at how to manage your own community using Chinese social media. This helps you improve your bookings by increasing number of students you can teach and reach online at a time.

The demand for English language learning is extremely high in China. The current 1-1 VIPKid teaching model is very much like the Gucci brand for the English learning market. If you can manage a community to enable small group teaching, you can significantly get more bookings and customers with a lowered price per student. However, for you as an online English teacher working from home, you might earn more income.

Not every student is suitable for a group lesson. But group lessons have their benefits. Some teachers and students prefer a community environment to a solo environment. You might earn more money compared to teaching a 1-1 model: students can form a peer-to-peer support network and motivation can be high.


From a technology perspective, WeChat’s evolving functions in communication and self-publishing makes it a perfect tool for community management at a distance. The group video and audio calls afford synchronised interaction, e.g. small-group live discussion. The group chat function allows people to send text, photos, videos back and forth with WeChat’s embedded translation service (free). You can also share your video content (sits on WeChat channel platform) and article content (sits on WeChat subscription platform) in between to deliver curriculum and teaching materials.

It is very common for Chinese schoolteachers to use WeChat as an after-class group communication tool with parents. Teachers use it to update students’ classroom performance. Parents receive after-school assignments in the group. Teachers and parents are already very accustomed to using WeChat in this fashion.

But to design group lessons for students using WeChat, there is much more to plan and consider. First of all, it requires sorting out payment. Secondly, it definitely takes some re-thinking in terms of content delivery, student/teacher interaction, lesson management as well as communication with parents outside online lessons.


Are you interested in learning how to manage your own community to facilitate teaching? Our workshop on using WeChat for teaching is on its way. Email admin@improveyourbookings.com to register your interest.


The above 5 ways show you how to engage Chinese social media to improve your bookings. Using these methods helps you to market yourself, recruit students, increase your influence and cultivate a group culture with your students.

Your voice

Have you tried any of these five ways yourselves? How are they working out for you? Do you have further questions? I would love to hear you voice in the comment box.

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