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How to Hire a Freelance Video Editor

Your YouTube channel has grown to the point where you're busier than ever and it's starting to get more challenging to pump out content on a regular basis. It's no secret that editing is the most time-consuming part of making videos-- and your time is limited. The solution? Hire a professional video editor. While there are a few ways to go about hiring an editor for your YouTube channel (outsourcing to a postproduction company, for example), for this post I'll specifically going over what goes into hiring a freelance video editor such as myself. I've been freelancing since 2015, so I know a thing or two.

Before I get into where to find a freelance editor (Spoiler Alert: You don't have to look far! ), let's go over some tips to keep in mind during your search including budget, trial runs, and the importance of clear communication.

Tip #1: Know Your Budget

First and foremost, you need to know how much you're willing to spend on a video editor. Some freelance video editors charge by the hour while some charge per video and in some cases, they offer both in their pricing. To figure out which option is better for you, you’ll need to know the answers to these 3 questions:

  1. How many videos do you need?

  2. How long will your video(s) be?

  3. How complex will your video(s) be?

One thing I want to make clear before I continue is that the length of the finished video does NOT determine the amount of time your editor will spend working on it. So be sure to keep that in mind when you look at your budget.

The answers to these questions will obviously be different for everyone. Let’s say, for example, you upload once a week. That’s 4-5 videos per week. And let’s say each of your videos are about 10-15 minutes in length and don’t require anything fancy; just a talking head video with some additional clips thrown in here and there. Now, remember, your editor could spend a few hours working on just one video like this, making sure everything flows smoothly, cutting out all the “ums” and “uhhs” and all that. If you’re being charged by the hour for a video like that every week, it might start to add up to more than you’re willing to spend. So I would recommend finding an editor that charges per video in this case. On the other hand, if you upload a 20 minute video essay with lots of fancy cuts, zooms and transitions once in a blue moon, being charged by the hour might make a little more sense.

Again, it’s gonna be different for client and every editor is going to have a different rate. If your budget is on the lower side, I would recommend finding an editor who’s just starting out, as their rates tend to be on the lower side. “But if they’re just starting out, how will I know they’ll do a good job?” I’m glad you asked, because that leads me to:

Tip #2: Do a Trial Run

You may want to incorporate a trial run into your budget if you want to be absolutely sure you've got the right person for the job. Ask your potential editor if they're willing to do a sample video for you at a discounted rate. This is an excellent way to see exactly what the editor can do for you.

Here's a bonus tip: Give the benefit of a doubt. Suppose you need a wedding video and the editor you've been talking to (that's within your budget) has only done vlogs and trailers. You see by their portfolio that they're a skilled editor, but they have no experience with what you need. This is where a trial run would come in handy. Many potential clients are quick to assume that what's in an editor's portfolio is the full extent of their talents when often times this is not the case. Use your judgment; if they can cut a trailer, they can cut a wedding video (or vice versa)!

Additionally, trial runs can help you determine whether or not the editor:

  • Follows directions

  • Is able to bring your vision to life

  • Communicates clearly and efficiently

Clear and efficient communication is key with any project. Which leads me to my final tip...

Tip #3: Establish Clear Communication From the Beginning

Be clear about what you're looking for. I'm talking transparent, 0% Opacity, squeaky-clean glass window clear. I've had clients in the past leave out important details or instructions then get mad at me for not making the video they wanted. One client even stated "I was expecting you to put my logo at the end" when, in fact, no logo was ever mentioned in the instructions, nor was there a logo sent to me along with their footage.

Please don't do this.

In order to save time on revisions and spare the back-and-forth, take the time to make sure your editor has everything they need to bring your vision to life before they begin working. Create an outline, make a checklist, type out bullet points, or better yet, send them an example of what you want. (Also, don't forget to send them all the footage and assets!) The more detailed you are about what you need, the easier it will be for both you and your editor.

Fair Warning...

Just a heads up; it may take you several hours or even days to find the right editor within your budget. You may be tempted to go with someone with rates that are lower than average, but remember: you get what you pay for. If you find that every editor you come across charges a large amounts (rightfully so) that you can't afford, you may need to either put your search on hold or take another crack at iMovie.

Additionally, you most likely won't be the editor's only client. That means they could be busy working on other projects when you need them, causing your project to be delayed. To avoid this, plan ahead if possible; don't wait until Friday evening to tell your editor that you need 3 videos done by Monday (I've had that happen to me, too).

Where to Find a Freelance Editor

Now that you have the tools you need to start looking for a freelance video editor, you may be wondering where to find one. The most popular options are Upwork, Fiverr, and Production Hub. Alternatively, you don't have to look any further than the website you're on right now.

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1 comentario

24 oct 2023
You don't actually need a video editor. You can spend a few hours and teach yourself how to do this. There is enough information on the Internet now. For example, yesterday I needed to convert m4v to mp4 for free and I found out about it without any problems, spending a couple of minutes on it. So it all depends on you! 
I wish all beginners good luck!
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