Introducing yourself in a way that gets you noticed!
This post is going to help you win big at profile pictures. Not the Instagram type where you may already be the self-professed Van Gogh of selfies, but the online teaching type where your number one priority is getting booked!
Why is this necessary? Because if you’re like me, you’re probably guilty of the following: I’m creating a new online profile. There are too many fields to fill and my pasta is starting to overcook. I find that I cannot continue without uploading a profile picture. I flip through my camera roll at the speed of light looking for the first picture where I don’t look like an early-morning woolly mammoth. I finish setting up my profile in time to save the pasta, and make a solemn promise to myself that I will update the picture later.
No. No. No.
Firstly, 90% of the time the picture will remain unchanged. Secondly, and more importantly, your profile picture is the very first thing a parent will see before they decide to check out your profile (never mind actually book you). So, it CANNOT be the woolly mammoth look. VIPKid Brand Ambassador Michael breaks it down nice and eloquently here.
In this post, we’ll look at some of the things you can do for your profile picture and introduction video to really make a difference.
Taking the perfect profile picture is hard. No argument there.
Selfies generally don’t fly because no matter what angle you use, your head takes on a shape that’s not typically representative of heads. You can’t re-use the photo you got last week at the DMV because you’re a living, breathing human, and that photo suggests otherwise. You can’t ask your friend to take your headshot because after the second picture you start to become so self-conscious you turn beetroot red and lie about how great the first picture was just to end it all.
But there are two critical things to remember about profile pictures:
You have to take the time to invest in your picture. And that means shedding any trace of self-consciousness and enlisting the help of somebody to take your picture. If you need a hand getting over feeling awkward about it, just remember the world is literally full of people doing this on a daily basis (because you know, if it’s not on Instagram it didn’t happen).
You need to try and stand out: When was the last time you spent time appreciating one of the seven hundred guinea-pigs at the zoo, and ignoring that one albino Peacock in the cage next door? Your profile picture is the same, when a parent is scrolling through the thousands of profiles on VIPKid, you want them to pause for a second on yours. Avoid being the guinea-pig.
So how do you achieve the above?
- Ask a friend to take your photograph for you. Or your mom. Or visit the local Kodak and tell them you are a creative soul that needs to self-express. This one is unavoidable.
- Find a neutral and minimalist background. Nobody ever got booked because they were standing in front of a street pole. The focus of the photo should be you!
- Wear something that draws attention to you, and make sure you don’t blend in with your background. Green on green never worked well for anyone, just ask this lady.
- Inject a little personality into your photo. Hands are good, most people like them, but a hand with a prop can be even better. Think about what defines you in your classroom, and try bring a little bit of that into your picture.
- Don’t forget the basics. You might get so caught up in trying to look interesting that you forget that profile pictures should be: centered, generally not include more than your head and shoulders, and in focus.
- Why smile? Because 100% of the time parents will choose a Tigger over an Eeyore to teach their child.
Remember, there’s no need to buy a $12,000 camera for one profile picture. While we can’t endorse Teacher Michael’s tactics on this matter, we can’t exactly deny his ingenuity either.
Most of what we said for profile pictures equally applies for your introduction video. Think about your introduction video as validating your profile picture. If a parent is attracted to your profile picture, they will likely use your introduction video to make sure you are what you seem. You can’t look like Patch Adams in your profile picture, but come off as Ferris Bueller’s economics teacher.
This is your opportunity to showcase what you imagine as the perfect class. Here’s what you need to remember:
Parents don’t want to see a video of you listing generic information about yourself. They have most of that already. A simple introduction can be fine, but what is it achieving other than validating the fact that you do indeed speak English? Get creative!
Parents do want to see the type of person that will potentially be teaching their child. That means they want to see your energy and enthusiasm, they want to see how you talk to the camera, they want to see anything that makes you special.
Here are some tips to help you achieve an outstanding introduction video:
- Include your quirks. Teach with a monkey hand puppet? Include it in the video! Have a really contagious laugh? Make sure you laugh out loud and get them smiling too.
- Make sure you are fun. You’re teaching children, and there’s a good chance they will be watching the introduction video with their parents. Make them your focus.
- Be active. The online classroom works so well because body language can be used. Limber up before shooting your video and don’t be afraid to get your arms moving!
- Again, don’t forget the basics. Shoot your video in as high a quality as possible. Make sure your lighting is effective and your microphone and camera are working well.
Finally, don’t skip out on your introduction text just because you think you’ve nailed it in the video and picture. A complete package of greatness is the surest way to improved booking rates. Who sounds more attractive as a teacher?
Teacher Amanda who is: “from Wyoming. I can’t wait to teach your kid.”
Teacher Becky who is: “from a little town near Chicago. I love spending time with my 3 children and 2 dogs, and I can’t wait for you to join in the fun with us!”
Follow the tips above and you’ll soon realize you don’t need the majestic beard of Michael to vastly improve your booking rates.