I was very surprised when I first found out it was possible to make money by editing videos online.
Here is what I realised: the video industry is booming! More and more businesses need videos to promote their services on Youtube and Instagram. This is a golden opportunity to make some money.
Video editing jobs are suitable for students or 9-to-5 workers. Once you have built your reputation, it is also possible to work full time and earn a decent living.
With the help of this step-by-step guide, you will learn how to edit videos, find clients, and become a successful freelance video editor.
The topics covered are:
I’ll walk you through the whole process!
Make an informed decision
Let’s face it: video editing is not for everyone.
In order to help you make an informed decision, I have gathered some basic information about video editing jobs: salary, pros and cons.
Pros and cons of working as a freelance video editor
Here is what I love about freelance video editing jobs:
- Flexibility – you can work whenever you want and wherever you want.
- The freedom of working at your own pace.
- You are paid according to your skills.
There are also some disadvantages to consider:
- It takes time and effort to learn the basics of video editing.
- Video editing requires expensive equipments including a laptop, video editing softwares and hard drives.
- It can be difficult to find clients (more on that later).
How much do freelance video editors make?
According to Payscale, the average hourly pay for a freelance video editor is $20.00 in the United States.
Ultimately, your salary depends on your skills and the type of clients you work for. For example, editing promotion videos for small businesses usually pays more than making Youtube videos.
Learn video editing
You can’t land jobs unless you are confident in your editing abilities!
Video editing is easy to understand, but hard to master. I’ll walk you through the basics:
- what video editing equipments you should buy.
- how to choose an editing software.
- how to learn video editing with online classes and tutorials.
Let’s get started!
Video editing equipments
You don’t need a studio to become a successful video editor!
Powerful laptops can now handle many of the tasks that editors used to perform in a studio. Here is what you should look for when buying a computer:
- A powerful CPU and graphics card.
- Many gigabytes of memory.
- USB ports.
You may also need: high-quality headphones, external hard drives and cameras. You can decide if you need them further along the road.
Choose a video editing software
Video editing softwares are very intuitive. This is why I recommend using professional softwares right away!
Here are some of the best video editing softwares:
- DaVinci Resolve has a free and paid version.This is by far the best video editing to get started!
- Lightworks has a free version that is good for beginners. The professional editor has been used for many feature films.
- Final Cut Pro X is great if you can afford it. Many professionals use it on a daily basis.
- Adobe Premiere Pro CC is also good, but really expensive.
Remember: the workman is more important than the tool! All of these softwares are capable of editing Oscar worthy films, it all depends on you.
If you don’t feel like investing cash up front in editing software, then you can get away with using iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, which are pre-installed on Mac and Windows machines.
Online classes and tutorials
It’s hard to learn video editing on your own. So I recommend you to attend one of the following video editing class:
- Video production bootcamp (Udemy): a course that helps you edit and manipulate videos on a professional level.
- Become a video editor (Lynda): you’ll get a solid foundation in everything from story structure and editing techniques to video compression and color correction.
- Video editing classes on Skillshare: thousands of classes to learn the various aspects of video editing.
If you don’t want to pay for a class, I recommend these free tutorials:
- How To Edit Videos in DaVinci Resolve 16 (Free Video Editor): the best video to learn editing with a free software.
- World’s Most Advanced Video Editing Tutorial (Premiere Pro): the best free tutorial to learn video editing with Premiere Pro.
Practice, practice, practice
The best way to learn video editing is by actually doing it. This means getting footage, choosing an editing program and getting to work.
Mastering skills like directing, lighting and audio will give you a taste of what it takes to put a film together. Editing is so much more than simply cutting footage. Video editors are storytellers!
If you want to perfect your skills, here are the best resources for video editors:
- Larry Jordan’s website: his blog has thousands of free tutorials for video editors! You can learn about Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Audition, and many other top programs.
- Videocopilot.net: a nice collection of plug-ins, resources, and tutorials that are widely used by the visual effects community.
Find video editing jobs
Now that you have decent video editing skills, it’s time to find your first clients.
The best ways to find video editing jobs are:
- Signing up on freelance websites and job boards.
- Contacting small businesses in your area.
- Contacting Youtube networks and channels.
So let’s take a closer look!
Freelance websites to find video editing jobs
If you are a beginner, you can get hands-on experience on websites dedicated to helping freelancers like yourself find work.
Here are my favorite freelance websites:
- Fiverr – the world’s largest freelance services marketplace.
- PeoplePerHour – a website where freelancers can bid on jobs.
- Upwork – a platform that connects top companies to talented freelance workers.
- Flexjobs – for about $15 a month, you get access to a list of remote jobs.
- TopTal – through a rigorous screening process, TopTal identifies the best freelancers and connects them to potential employers.
Some websites are also dedicated to video editing jobs:
- ViEdit: get paid to create business videos, social media clips, home videos, travel movies and more.
- Tongal: they hire writers, animators, videographers and editors to make videos for businesses.
Job boards to find video editing jobs
If you are an experienced video editor, you can find jobs on:
- Behance: a great place to upload your creative portfolio. It also has a job board where you can find video editing jobs.
- ProductionHUB: a global network of vendors that serves the video production industry.
Contact small businesses
Every market has its own local advertising, and those commercials need to be edited. Contact marketing agencies and small businesses in your area and see if they need video editors.
Edit Youtube videos
Let’s face it: Youtube is massive.
More and more Youtubers and networks need video editors. This is a great opportunity to get some hands-on experience.
The downside is that editing Youtube videos usually doesn’t pay well. Most Youtubers will promise to pay a percentage of their income or pay you in exposure.
Remember that you can’t eat exposure.
Increase your income
Now that you have some experience, it’s time to step up your game!
Here are a few ideas to land more video editing jobs and increase your revenue.
Build your portfolio
Here is the deal: if you want to land high-paying jobs, you need to showcase your skills.
This is why you need to build a portfolio, a website with:
- The best videos you’ve ever edited.
- Your services and your pricing.
- A contact form.
Team up with other professionals
Marketing and video production companies are always looking for skilled video editors. Team up with these companies to land more clients and generate more revenue.
By branching out and becoming familiar with other aspects of the industry, you’ll be able to land high-paying jobs like: sound engineering, assistant directing, or even small-scale video production projects.
Here’s a short recap of how you can start your career as a freelance video editor:
- Improve your video editing skills.
- Land your first video editing job.
- Build your reputation.
- Build a portfolio to showcase your skills.
- Make more money by teaming up with other professionals and learning new skills.