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Freelance Video Editing Services: Should I Hire A Freelancer?

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So, let’s talk about why you might be thinking about hiring a freelance video editor. At Vidpros, we talk to people every month about video editing problems. Most people we talk to about video editing services are either social media channel owners (Youtube, TikTok, and Instagram mainly) or people running businesses who film a lot of videos to help customers and clients.

You Shoot First, They Edit Later

As you more than likely already know, shooting is actually an easy job. Yes, there are a ton of different levels of complexity to any video you want to create -locations, shooting style, microphones, etc. The point we’re making here is that you, like most video creators, gravitate towards simpler videos at the start and up your game as you go. Regardless of the level of your shooting plans, your editing will still take a long time. We have worked with everyone from Youtube beginners right up to TV documentary makers and everyone agrees. Editing sucks and is time consuming. How much time does video editing take exactly? Well, the general rule is that it takes 30-60 minutes to create a minute of quality video.

Video Editing Really Is A Huge Timesuck

Editing is the job that most people either don’t like or don’t want to do because editing raw footage takes a long time to turn into a polished video, regardless of who you are or how experienced your video editor is. It is also a big timesuck if you want to learn how to get any good at it. Good video editing involves filtering out the low-quality footage, keeping the good takes, and then working some serious magic to produce genuinely high-quality video production- potentially including captions and video effects.

Making these decisions isn’t necessarily hard, but getting the details right and creating something that people are genuinely going to enjoy – that’s the grind. There are many reasons to think about hiring freelance video editing services. Which factors are important to you?

Hire A Video Editor v My Time Video Editing

Most people start out with the answer “I’ll do it myself”. Mostly this happens because:

1. Your video is short and so it seems like it shouldn’t take long.
2. You want to do the editing yourself in order to learn the skills.
3. You don’t have enough money right now to pay someone else to do the editing for you.

We work with a large number of Youtube channels on a monthly basis editing their videos. If you talk to enough of these channel owners, you find a sweet spot for when you should hire someone and how you determine that you’re at the right point to pull the trigger on this.

1. Edit your own videos at the start – Even if you don’t like it and you give up after 5-10  videos, the experience of doing it will show you enough of the techniques so that you can understand how long video editing takes to get to the final product. This makes you much better at understanding expectations and better at communicating when you work with your video editor. No one likes a client who thinks that everything just takes 5 minutes and that it can all be done on a 24-hour turnaround. Get your hands dirty, even just for a little while. Your business and your channel will be so much better for it.

2. Make consistent money from your business or channel before you hire – Some businesses start to hire video editors before they have the money or the need to have specific roles filled. This makes a lot of sense if you are a well-established company with a budget and predictable revenue. If you are smaller or newer, then this isn’t such a great idea.

You don’t want to hire someone for a couple of weeks and then realize that you never really had the cash flow to hire them in the first place, or that actually, you didn’t need to hire. If you are a newer business or channel, then we recommend that you wait until you have enough cash on hand to pay for an editor for a specified number of hours for a minimum of three months. Get that calculation done…

That way, if you get a dip in your numbers, you stand a chance of keeping your editor. Hiring and firing on a regular basis is bad for your business. Every time you hire a new editor, you’ll have to onboard them and familiarize them with your brand and all the things that need to be done in a certain way. You don’t want to lose someone you work well with because you made a calculation error.

Professional Video Editing: Freelancer Or a Video Editing Service?

You have two main options for your video editing projects: hiring a freelancer or using a video editing service. Both have points you need to take on. It is important to consider the best option for your situation and your specific needs.

The Cost Of Your Video Edits

The hourly rate you pay for your freelance video editing tasks is essentially based on a few simple factors:

  • Location 
  • Expertise
  • Communication
  • Scale

Location

If you hire someone who lives in New York, then you will pay New York rates – most other places will be cheaper. That’s the simplest way of putting it. However, there are some other things to take into account with location that aren’t as simple as rent and cost of living.
Supply and demand are another. If you have a glut of people in a certain location, then the hourly price of video editing is going to go down.

Our main recommendation on location is that you should take advantage of the internet and get yourself a better deal by hiring outside of your immediate area online. Do you really need to meet your editor in person? The answer is more than likely, no.

A Bit About Going Remote

These days we are all aware of how Zoom meetings have replaced the need to physically meet someone. Tools like Slack and Whatsapp now mean that you can communicate with anyone anywhere and send links, messages, and even videos. One tool that we definitely recommend is Loom for this. Loom is basically screen share recording software for your computer or your phone. You can use the camera on your computer, or it will record the screen for you. The big bonus here is that Loom automatically creates a link to the video and uploads it there so that immediately after recording, you can send that link to your editor. Your video editor then clicks the link and can watch the video immediately.

The big bonus here is that you can show your editor exactly what you need and just talk as if you are in a meeting talking to them. When your editor views the video, you get a notification that someone has watched it – we love this! From then on your editor can reply using the same process. This is something we use regularly at Vidpros and we can say with experience that using Loom as a tool will really help you save time by not having to book meetings or type long messages to work with your editor.

Getting Your Freelance Editing Schedule Clear

Freelancers are an interesting breed. Every one of them is slightly different, so when you’re hiring a freelancer, you need to be the one to really focus on the details of what you do and don’t want.

You might be able to hire an experienced video editor who only works weekends. That could be a great find as your first hire, but everything comes with a cost. What happens if your channel takes off and you need edits done on weekdays? Back to our “3 months” advice for budgeting- it really is a good idea to look ahead 3-6 months and try to “plan for the best and prepare for the worst”. If you do it that way, you have your bases covered. In this context, we’re referring to availability. Your hire will last longer if they can to adapt your needs.

Getting Specific Types Of Videos Edited With A Freelancer

The best advice we can give here is really simple: Hire someone that has already done exactly what you need.

What do we mean by that? First off, here is a list of potential types of video editing you can generally hire a regular freelancer for:

  1. Explainer videos: Those funky short videos explain how your product works in around 2 minutes. you usually find these on the homepage of a website.

  2. Corporate Videos: Producing internal or external corporate video content, training videos, promotional videos, product demonstrations, or company culture videos.

  3. Event Videos: Live events like concerts, sports events, weddings, or conferences.

  4. Wedding Videos: Yes, weddings are live events, but they deserve a category of their own.

  5. Documentary: Working on non-fictional films or series that present factual information about a particular subject.

  6. Educational/Instructional Videos: Creating content for educational purposes, like online courses, how-to videos, explainer videos, etc.

  7. Travel Videos: Editing footage from various locations into a cohesive, visually appealing travelogue.

  8. Social Media Content: Short video content for platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook, which often requires a quick turnaround time.

  9. Video Podcasts/ Vlogs: Editing conversational or lifestyle content, often for YouTube or other online platforms.

  10. Animation and Special Effects: This might be a separate role in larger productions, but freelance video editors might need to have basic skills in animation and special effects.

  11. Gaming Videos: Editing gameplay footage for reviews, let’s play videos, or live streams.

  12. News/ Broadcast: Working on news packages or live broadcast content.

  13. Real Estate Videos: Creating promotional videos for properties, using both interior footage and drone footage.

Simply pick your category and include this as part of your hiring process. Yes, you can get a super cheap newbie with no experience, but you’ll spend 2-3 months effectively waiting for them to get up to speed and we really don’t recommend you do that.

Cons Of Hiring  A Freelance Video Editor

 

  1. Deadline Issues:

    Hiring one person means risk. If your freelancer gets sick, you have no backup. A good freelancer has to be working ahead of schedule at all times, which is possible, but if your rockstar gets sick for a week, there is nothing anyone can do about it. Emergency cover is expensive and your spare still needs to get up to speed on your style and brand.

     

  2. Staying up to date on software:

    It might seem obvious that the right video editor should be up to date on video editing software and fully on the pulse with all the latest innovations in the space, but that’s not always the case. Some people are obsessed with their jobs and some just cruise along – make sure you get the right one!

     

  3. Potentially inconsistent quality

    If you hear one negative about freelancers, it is on the topic of inconsistency. This isn’t true of all freelancers. Usually, the more consistent ones are slightly more per hour, but it is worth the difference.

The Different Types Of Video Editing Services Available

Whether you need help with a simple edit or a more complex project, there is a service out there that can help you. you can split video editing into two main buckets:

  1.  Basic Editing: trimming footage, adding titles and credits, and basic color correction.
  2. Advanced Editing: special effects, creating motion graphics, and more complex color correction.

  3. Post-Production: This type of service can help you with things like adding audio, creating final versions of your videos, and more.

Freelance Websites for Video Editors

1. Viedit

Viedit provides you with a platform where you have the flexibility to choose your video editor from a list of diverse profiles. Alternatively, you have the option to upload your video project details and let the editors approach you. A special feature, the “Movies” tab, enables you to scout freelancers based on their past work.

Video editors from around the globe are available on the platform. To find the perfect match for your project, all you need to do is browse through the “Creators” tab. By clicking on a freelancer’s profile, you’ll be directed to their personal page where you can review samples of their work, initiate a chat, bookmark their profile for later reference, or directly hire them for your project.

Viedit also has a “Create Project!” tab designed for your convenience. Here, you can input your project title, attach any relevant inspirational content via personal files or YouTube, and specify your audio needs – whether it’s music, voiceover, or both. You also have the option to provide detailed instructions, set a specific duration for your video, lay down the project deadline, and specify your budget.

2. Backstage

A popular site for actors to find gigs, Backstage also has profiles of video editing freelancers for all of your film and TV editing needs.

We recommend this site specifically for film and/or television, though you can find editors ready to edit a short video for your social media or advertising.

Backstage’s robust filtering system allows you to narrow your search based on location, skills, union status, and more. Once the job is completed to your satisfaction, Backstage will take care of the contracts and the payment to your video editor, taking one less thing off your plate.

3. Fiverr

Another popular site with a slightly different approach to connecting companies with freelancers is Fiverr. Best for small projects and gigs.

On Fiverr, you search through the profiles of freelancers and find one that you want to work with. These freelancers can list different specialties on their profiles, like video editing, graphics, and others. The freelancers themselves list their prices right on their profiles so you can see who will fit your budget.

You can browse to find people that specialize in everything from animation to advertising; freelancers proficient in Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro, and CyberLink PowerDirector 365. There are freelancers that do everything from editing Twitch streams to YouTube-friendly clips and even an editor to help you create the perfect TikTok.

The freelancers on this site post samples of their work right on their profile, allowing you the opportunity to see if their editing skills are what you’re looking for. Check out our top Fiverr picks for video editors.

4. ProductionHUB

ProductionHUB has been a resource for connecting with freelance video editors since its establishment in 1999.

Numerous leading TV networks and studios have sourced their production crews from this site, providing a testament to the fact that you’re sure to find a video editor perfectly suited for your project here.

ProductionHUB facilitates your hiring process in three unique ways. Through the “Search and Connect” feature, you’re empowered to browse more than 150,000 verified professional profiles, either by location, by selecting from over 300 categories, or by entering a keyword.

Alternatively, you can “Post a Request”, submitting your specifications for a video editor, and allowing the platform to match your project with the best-fitting freelancers.

Lastly, the straightforward “Post a Job” option enables you to publish your project details, thereby attracting the attention of skilled video editors.

Vidpros – Best of both worlds?

With fixed pricing and a transparent system, at Vidpros, we run a really simple system with a comprehensive video editing team at prices that are reliable for our regular clients week in and week out. At Vidpros we offer professional video editing services, along with your own dedicated editor and account manager so you always know exactly what’s going on. With a 48-hour turnaround time and plenty of backup on hand, we’re always looking to improve and learn more so that you get more bang for your buck. If you’re thinking that regular video editing could be what you need right now, then hit us up for some more information and we’ll do our best to either help you find a freelance editor or a package that suits you.

 

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