Freelancers Vs. Video Editing Companies - Which Is Better for Outsourcing Video Editing?
Outsourcing video editing is a great way to save time and streamline your content production process. But who should you hand your editing work off to? Freelancers? Or video editing companies?
There are several options out there, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
Which is the best fit in your particular case? What does it depend on?
To help you decide, here are five central questions you need to answer.
Speed: What's the turnaround time?
First off, turnaround time is a major distinguishing point between freelancers and video editing companies.
Freelancers are usually one-person shows. This means that editing speed will partly depend on how professionally and efficiently that person works.
However, freelancers also manage their own projects, juggle files transfers, acquire customers, and talk to clients. Consequently, the time they can spend actually editing your videos is restricted.
Video editing companies, on the other hand, usually have several editors on staff, as well as a separate team dealing with administrative matters. As a result, they often guarantee consistent, fast turnaround times.
Availability: How flexible are the editors?
Next, if you’re outsourcing your video editing long-term, you’ll want your editor’s availability to fit into your content creation schedule.
Freelancers’ availability is limited because they can handle only so many jobs at the same time. They’ll also take days off, or even get sick. A different time zone can make scheduling difficult, too – although this could be handy if you need work done overnight.
One way of making sure a freelance video editor stays available for your projects, though, is to pay them a retainer.
In contrast, video editing companies are usually more consistently available thanks to their team of editors. Of course, even an editing company can have a lot on their plate. In that case, however, they can hire more editors. That means you as a customer probably won’t even notice.
Quality: How good are the edits?
When it comes to editing quality, there are certainly amazing freelance video editors out there. Plus, they could even be specialists in your niche.
However, finding those people can be a major challenge. You will probably have to advertise on several job boards, get personal recommendations from colleagues, or comb through LinkedIn to find suitable candidates.
On the other hand, video editing companies have already selected their editors. You can therefore expect a solid standard of editing competence. However, you will have to vet the companies themselves to make sure that they offer quality video editing services.
Customer Service: How well do you work together?
If you’re planning to work together with someone long-term, it’s crucial that they’re not just good at what they do, but also at how they do it. In short, that they’re pleasant to work with, and handle your requests efficiently.
In the freelance sphere, this depends heavily on the individual. There are eager-to-please freelancers who respond to your requests almost instantly, but also those who grudgingly reply days later.
On the upside, though, you know that it will always be the same person handling your projects. And if you find someone competent with whom you click instantly, that can be worth gold!
If you opt for hiring a video editing company, in contrast, you can expect more professional, formal customer service. Most likely, you won’t be talking to the same person all the time, and different editors will handle your projects. In this case, you have to depend on the company representative you communicate with to accurately translate your requests to editors.
Cost: How much will you end up paying?
And finally, the big one. How much does it cost to outsource your video editing?
The answer, unfortunately, is: It varies.
Yes, you can find freelance editors working for $15 or less per hour. The quality of work in this price range, though, is often doubtful. On average, you can expect video editors to charge around $42 per hour for solid services.
In comparison, video editing companies usually offer different editing services, package deals, and subscriptions. In some instances basic jump-cut edits for single YouTube videos start at $50, while monthly subscription packages range from $350 to $1,500.
Generally speaking, the pricing of video editing companies is more predictable, making it easier to budget. Freelancers, for example, might get stuck for a few more hours than expected on a particularly complex edit and charge you accordingly, while companies include the extra time in their package deals.
Video editing companies are the safer bet.
Overall, video editing companies are the safer choice, especially if you’re outsourcing your editing for the first time, or are just getting started in content creation.
They offer consistent availability and editing quality, standard turnover times, professional customer service, and predictable pricing.
However, if you get lucky and find an amazing freelance editor who’s taking on new clients, you might also want to opt for working with them, and paying them a retainer.