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How To Hire A Video Editor: Your Guide To Nailing It First Time

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Want to know one thing the most successful YouTube channels all have in common?

They all decided to outsource their video editing at the right time. They realised that they needed someone to edit Youtube videos in order to kick on to another level.
So why should you consider getting help with your video content?

  1. Your content quality just goes up – a focused video editor means higher-quality videos for your channel
  2. You take back all those weekly editing hours. You can shoot more quality videos and use your mental bandwidth for new ideas on how to learn and grow.

If you are considering that at some point you might be at the stage where you want to outsource your editing process to a freelance video editor and get your time back, then read on, because this one is packed with value. Yes, we know how to hire a video editor – and get it right on the first try. Soon, so will you…

Let’s start off with some important background info for when you hire professional video editing services:

  • The 3 options you have for hiring a video editor
  • The best places to look to hire a video editor (including a special site that’s rarely mentioned)
  • And how much it’s going to cost you

Let’s do this!

3 Hiring Options Went To The Market

If you’re thinking about getting video content edited, then you basically have 3 choices. All are great options under certain circumstances. Which would suit you?

1. Full-Time Ferdinand

You could post a job board dedicated to finding full-time hires like indeed.com and hire a full-time video editor. 

Pros: You get a skilled video editor dedicated 100% to your brand. They are always available for your top priority during regular working hours. If you treat them well, they become your co-creator and help you to reach your goals. And you can develop a good working relationship. Workflows and processes are as smooth.

Cons: Full-time video editors are expensive! The national average for US YouTube editors is $58k per year. Unless you take on a newbie or agree to an equity or profit-sharing deal, it’s a huge expense. You also have an employee to take care of. Hire, train, manage, benefits, taxes, sick time, vacations, payroll, and more.

Verdict: It only makes sense to hire a full-time employee if you already create multiple YouTube videos consistently each week or if media production is a major part of your marketing strategy. This option is great for large brands and fast-growing, highly profitable YouTube channels. You can attract top talent, and they can seriously boost your video content. 

2. Freddie The Freelance Video Editor

Not ready for a full-time video editor yet? No problem. There are a ton of freelancers out there, and some are truly exceptional. You can pay by the hour, a fixed price per project, or even per minute of raw footage you hand over.

Pros: No contract; it’s your most flexible option. You can search for the perfect fit. Find a freelancer with the exact skills you need and get their help on demand.

Cons: There are a bazillion freelance video editors. It can take time and a fair amount of trial and error to find the right person. You still need to hire, train, and manage their deadlines. You won’t be their only client, either. You can’t expect them to drop what they are doing and put your tasks at the top of their pile. They usually work on deadlines. The goal is to find a reliable freelancer who consistently hits yours on time. 

Also, when they need time off, nobody is there to fill in for them. You have to figure something else out if you want to keep your content schedule moving – or wait for them to return. 

Freelancers also cost you the most per hour. You hire them as independent contractors most of the time. They must pay their own taxes, business expenses, insurance, unemployment, pension, health care…etc. So they naturally must charge you a higher rate. 

Verdict: Don’t get scared off by all the negatives, though. We want to ensure you have all the facts. You can find some seriously talented freelancers and good video editors out there, many of whom are a dream to work with. It’s simply part luck and part skill to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

Freelance video editors are a good match if you need one-off or intermittent editing work. You can find the right video editor with the exact skill set you need and pay as you go. 

3. Vivian’s Video Editing Service- The Video Editing Company

Last up, partner with a professional video editing company. Get a team of pro editors for a fixed monthly fee. They have all the gear. They know Youtube channels. They know post-production. This is for sure the most comprehensive option for in-depth knowledge and the wealth of experience you get that only comes from a dedicated team.

Pros: These people know how to hire a good video editor and get them up to date on the latest trends dedicated to your brand. You often work with the same professional video editor every time. You also get the backup of a reliable video editing team to step in and keep your projects rolling along. Teams are hotbeds for creativity and inspiration, so you’re more likely to get powerful creative input on your project than if you ran with a solo freelance video editor.

You get a fixed monthly price you can plan around. Monthly video editing services are by far your cheapest option as well. Expect fast turnaround times, often overnight or within 48 hours. You get unlimited project revisions, and they have a streamlined process to share files and communicate. 

Cons: You don’t get to search for and hire your own editor. You get matched up with an editor who fits your projects well. You need to do your own research to find the right agency with different video editors you can effectively work with. Tip: Look for one with a solid account manager in place.

Verdict: This is a perfect solution for most people running a Youtube channel regularly or a business that produces their own videos on a regular basis. You get professional video editing at a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time editor or freelancer. You have a fixed monthly cost (a total gift to any business owner), and if you need more editing time, you can add some editing hours on top. But isn’t a package fixed? Usually, but if video editing services have a small army of video editors and you’re a regular customer, they’re clearly going to try and help you out if you up your output.

 Video editing companies save you time, focus on creating and improving on your videos week in and week out, and allow you to get into a content creation rhythm. 

Where To Find Your Editor

Next up…where should you look to hire video editors? Before you search, check out these work arrangement options to see which best suits your needs.

Local or Remote?

Do you need face-to-face meetings with your video editor?
Do you need instant communication and collaboration?
Do you see yourself at times working in the same room?

If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, then look for a local hire. However, when you consider that remote workers are generally considerably cheaper, then you might consider it’s worth trying out. Depending on where you live, it’s likely the most expensive option. But it could be the best fit for you.
If you don’t care about any of that and just need someone to edit videos, then remote is certainly the way to go. All video editing work can be carried out asynchronously and remotely anyways. You can develop workflows and deadlines and establish communication guidelines to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Plus, if you live in North America and your experienced editor lives in Southeast Asia, then your editor can work while you sleep. It is sheer joy to wake up to find the next edit has been completed while you slept. Oh ya, and you save big bucks, too.

Platforms To Find The Best Editor

There are way too many options to list them all. Here are some of our favorites…

Upwork

The most popular freelance site in the world. You can search through profiles and invite candidates directly for an interview. Or, you can put up a detailed job post and go through a typical hiring process to select your favorite.

Take note that most of the applications you receive are from new or struggling freelancers trying to land anything they can. So set up a solid process for narrowing your choices to a shortlist. You can pay by the hour or per project. 

Instagram

Yes, you can find a professional video editor off of IG! Use the search feature and start with “video editor” or “video editing”. Many experienced editors build an audience on the platform to showcase their work. If you find someone who interests you, try to connect and see if they have room for you as a client.

YouTube

You can also find a good editor on YouTube. You can use the search feature or find a youtube channel whose video editing style you admire. Sometimes, you can find credit for whoever did the editing work in the description. If not, you can always reach out to the channel and ask. 

YTjobs

This one is a not-so-common gem. YTjobs.co exists solely to match YouTube video editors with brands who want their services. If you create videos for your YouTube channel, it makes sense to start here, right? It is definitely worth a try to find your next YouTube video editor here.

Indeed

Are you looking for a full-time hire? indeed.com is an excellent place to kick off your search. Put up an old-school job posting, and see who responds.

Note: If you need a full-time video editor but want to give them a trial first, you can hire a freelancer (contract to hire) and move to full-time if it works out. 

Google Is Always Your Friend

Would you prefer to compare video editing services? Google is the best place to start. Just be warned, there’s a ton of competition out there, and the best video editing services aren’t always the ones with the best SEO.

You can use reviews or ranking lists to give you an idea of some major players. But there’s no substitute for doing your own research. Talk to people and see if you can find a fit for your way of working, or someone you think you can vibe with on your projects.

We highly recommend you speak with and interview your shortlisted candidates, and review the work they’ve done for past clients, before purchasing their services…

How Much Does It Cost?

This is a tricky question. There are too many variables in video editing projects and too many providers who charge different rates to give a set answer. But we can give you an estimate of what to expect.

How long is your finished video going to be? Plan on roughly one hour of editing time for every minute of the finished video. The time they spend editing will go down if you have basic footage with one or two camera angles and only require simple edits. If you need something more complex, expand the estimate to 2-3 hours for each minute of your finished video.

Typical Video Editing Rates

  • Average FT professional editor salary = $55,000 in the United States
  • Average hourly rate for freelance editors = $40-50/hour. Experts command $100+
  • Monthly video editing services range from $400-$2500+

Factors That Affect Cost

The following factors are a few examples of what affects the complexity of post-production and how long it takes your editor to complete the project. The longer it takes, the more it costs.

  • How many camera angles do you have?
  • The length and quality of your raw video footage
  • How many takes have you used
  • The length of your finished video
  • How many cuts per minute go into your finished video
  • If you want B-roll cut-aways or stock footage

Next, let’s look at how you can use these tips to land a professional video editor.

How To Hire A Video Editor 

It can be a lot of work to hire video editors. But once you’ve found them, you are set. And the payoff can be huge.

Here’s a five-step approach you can use, copy, or adapt to help you hire a great editor on your first try.

1. Create Your Job Description

Start with the basics:

  • Detailed job description. Include the types of editing work & projects your editor will work on
  • Specific requirements or qualifications needed

Include all relevant details, especially those that discourage less experienced editors from applying. Do you require native English voiceovers from time to time? Audio editing services? Knowledge of Adobe Premiere? Specify it. Do you need a video editor in a specific location or time zone? Put it in there.

Then, swap places with your candidate to give your post a leg up over the competition. You can get into the right frame of mind if you ask yourself – what do you care about when you look for work?

Most people want to know if they will enjoy the work and how it impacts their life.

For On-Going Work:

  • What’s the pay?
  • How many hours per week? 
  • Is the work interesting?
  • Is there room for learning and advancement?
  • What is the company culture? Will you fit in and enjoy working there?

For One-Off Jobs:

  • What’s the pay?
  • How much time is this going to take?
  • How long do you have to complete it?
  • What software do they use?
  • Could this lead to future work?

So don’t keep these things a secret. The more info you put in your job ad, the more likely you will attract your ideal candidate. If you can work your brand’s personality into your message, it can help you land an editor who is the right fit. 

Give Them Some Homework

You can also get candidates to answer specific questions to gain more insight compared to a standard cover letter. You could ask:

  • List which video editing software you use (don’t tell them, they may just pretend to have experience or miss the detail)
  • Links to favorite completed work/samples. (What part of the sample did you do? All of it? Just the captions?)
  • Internet speed test. Hardware/CPU setup. If you hire a video editor in another part of the world and they have a poor connection or ancient hardware, it’s going to take them longer to get your tasks done (cost more if hourly rate)
  • List an instruction(s) somewhere in your job description. Ask them to put a certain word or phrase at the top of their cover letter. You want to test who reads carefully to understand and follow instructions. If they can’t pass this test, toss the application – save yourself a nightmare. 
  • If you want to learn something about their personality, ask them something creative and unexpected such as – what animal best represents your personality, and why?

2. Assess Your Applicants

Alright! Once you’ve made it this far, much of the hard work is behind you. It’s time to make a shortlist of your favorite candidates.

Narrow it down to your top 3-5 candidates, and move on to stage three.


3. Interview Your Shortlist Candidates

Set up a video call with your selected candidates for 15-30 mins. Plan on a few minutes of chit-chat at the beginning (unless that’s really not your jam), then get into the Q&A phase. As the employer, you lead and set the tone for the interview. Candidates appreciate it when you let them know what to expect. For example, you ask questions first, and there will be time for theirs afterwards. 

Bonus Extra Pro Tip: Check out Calendly for an easy way to schedule calls. No more back and forth. Does this time work for you? How about this time? No, never again. Stop it. Set up your Calendly with your available time slots, send them a link in your interview request, and let them book what works for them. It shows up in your calendar when they do. It’s genius. 

Have Your Questions Prepared – Ask Them All The Same One

Obviously, you know you need to prepare interview questions in advance. So what should you ask? Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Describe your editing workflow and the processes or tools you use to stay organized and communicate with clients. Basically, let them walk you through how they approach a project. You want to know their level of project management.
  • What timezone are you in? Where do you live?
  • What’s your experience level with “insert software name here”? ie. adobe premiere pro, final cut, etc.
  • Yadda yadda yadda – personalize it for your situation and what you value

If you want to learn more about how to interview a video editor, head on over to this awesome post, which breaks it down in more detail.

4. Test project

Honestly, you can swap the interview and test project around as you prefer. We listed the steps in this order because it feels like the most respectful way to do it. Don’t waste people’s time. But it’s your call.

The last stage of this process is to give your chosen candidates a trial task. This is where you see if they can actually create a good final product. 

Create a test project you use for all candidates. If you standardize the task, you can directly compare the results. For your trial task, have them complete a simple edit related to the job you are hiring for. You want to include enough of your common editing techniques without making the task take too long. It should take them at most an hour to complete. Be kind here! 

You should:

  • Give them detailed and clear instructions on what you want them to do
  • Give them organized and labelled files to work from. These could include raw footage, graphics, or audio
  • Let them know how to contact you if they have any questions

Evaluation

Finally, it’s time to evaluate their performance! Look for speed, accuracy in following instructions, and quality. Also, pay attention to the questions they ask. Questions are really important.

Do you want an editor who takes a guess when they aren’t sure what to do? Or would you prefer if they raise their hand and say, “Hey, I’m not sure about this; can you help me?

5. Select And Onboard

If you made it this far and are happy with the test results, congratulations, you found your new video editor!

Complete the process by offering them the job, agreeing on rates, and a start date if you haven’t already.

We recommend you always use a contract that clearly states all terms, conditions, and deliverables (including a non-disclosure agreement if required). But you do you. Many people have built successful careers with handshake deals. If you skip the contract, you can’t cry if something goes wrong!

A Checklist Summary

Wow, we covered a lot of ground today. Hopefully, it helps you find a great video editor.

We find our retention improves with a summary at the end. So here’s a quick overview of the most important points. It’s a checklist to remember the key facts, so you don’t have to re-read the whole thing. 

  • A great video editor improves the quality of your content and saves you time
  • The 3 hiring options you have – FT, freelance, or video editing service
  • Local editor, or remote?
  • Where can you find an editor? Upwork, IG, YT, YTjobs.co, indeed, Google
  • How much does it cost? 1 hr of edits per minute of the finished video. $45-50/hr on average. Experts charge $100+/hr. Video editing service $400-$2500/month. 
  • Factors that affect job length and cost.
  • How to hire a video editor in 5 steps:

1. Post a video editing job. Be detailed in the description. What would you care about as an editor? Ask them questions to report back on. Ask for samples. See if they can read and follow instructions.

2. Assess applicants for worthiness. Shortlist around 3-5.

3. Interview the worthy candidate via video call, no more than 30 mins. Ask them preset questions. Let them ask some too. Read our article on video editor interview questionsfor more info on interview questions to ask a video editor.

4. Test project. Be reasonable here…1 hr or less. Standardized task. Clear instructions. Tell them how they can ask questions. Questions are a great source of info.

5. Select & Onboard your new chosen one. Offer job. Agree on $ and start date. Sign a contract

Good luck with landing an all-star to help you grow -check out these other great posts to get a better grip on the world of Youtube channels, editing services, and how to up your game and create high-quality videos…If you’re considering using an online video editing service, then hit us up with some questions about how monthly video editing works here.

How To Grow Your YouTube Channel Fast With Fractional Video Editing

Why You Should Outsource Your Video Editing

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