How to Hire a Video Editor: The Pros and Cons of the Four Best Options
We get it. You never thought you’d need to hire a video editor. But here’s the thing — we know content creators are busy.
You’re learning tons of new skills. You’re managing your own business. And all that while constantly coming up with fresh ideas for videos. It’s a lot of work!
But you don’t actually need to do all that work yourself. One of the most essential secrets to growing any business is knowing what tasks you can delegate. For video content creators, one of them is obvious: video editing.
Hiring a professional video editor frees up time so that you can focus on doing what you love. And with fast, high-quality video production, you’ll more than earn back the cost.
There are quite a few ways to hire video editors, each with their pros and cons. Choosing between them can be tricky. Here, we’re going to break the four most important options down for you.
1. DIY (Do It Yourself) Video Editing
Before we talk about actually hiring a video editor, let’s discuss the merits of doing it yourself. After all, most creators start out by editing their own videos. Before you go down this route, though, you need to consider the hidden costs.
Pro: You learn a brand-new, valuable skill.
Early on in your creative journey, learning a new skill is exciting. Wanting to edit your own videos makes sense in this context.
After all, you’ll depend on income from your videos. It’s quite useful to know the basics in this area.
You might even find you love editing, and want to make a career out of it.
Pro: You don't need to pay anyone for video editing.
Most new creators prefer to edit their videos because you don’t need to pay anyone else. True, it’s – technically – cheaper. However, there is one problem with this idea:
Con: Time is money.
When you run a channel, you’re both a creator and entrepreneur. Your schedule can be overwhelming and difficult to manage.
Editing just a single video takes hours out of your day. And that’s not considering how long it takes to actually learn to use professional software.
Every minute you spend editing is another minute you aren’t focusing on the thing that’s earning you money – developing new content.
Con: Video editing quality.
Let’s face it. You’re a creator – not a video editor. Editing is a craft, and pro editors have spent years honing it. You don’t have the time to get to that skill level. If you want to attract the biggest audience possible, you need to put out the best videos possible – fast. And that means professional editing.
DIY video editing is only acceptable when you’re just getting your feet wet as a content creator. If you want to get serious about it, leave editing to the specialists.
2. Hire a Freelance Video Editor
Freelancers are the first thing that comes to creators’ minds when they think about outsourcing their video editing. Today, this is quite simple. Popular platforms like Upwork and Fiverr put the world’s freelancers at your fingertips.
This option has a lot going for it – but also a few critical downsides.
Pro: No contract - no committment.
Freelancers are usually hired per project. You don’t need any fancy contracts to do so. When you have videos to edit, you send them over.
If you don’t like their work, or you find someone else you prefer, you’re not tied down. You can just move on to the next freelancer.
Pro: High-quality, professional video editing services.
Some of the best video editors in the game are freelancers. This means that you can find top-notch video editing on freelance platforms. Given enough time and vetting, you will find them.
Con: Finding the right person takes time.
A single freelance job proposal can attract dozens of responses, but the overwhelming majority will be from unqualified amateurs.
The tricky part is sifting through all the bad ones to find the great one. This can take a lot of time. There’s no guarantee that they’ll be a good fit. You’ll only know whether you’ve been lucky after the job is done.
Con: Inconsistent availability.
Freelance video editors depend on a large roster of clients for their living. This means that your job isn’t always going to be their first priority.
You’ll have to get used to waiting in line until they have the time to work on your video. Plus, if your editor is sick or on vacation, you’ll simply have to wait it out.
Low-quality freelancers can be ridiculously cheap. Of course, they won’t provide the quality you’re looking for. Good freelancers are almost never cheap.
After all, they’re paying extra taxes on their income – besides all their living costs. Their rates are adjusted to make up for that.
If you’re looking for a truly high-quality video editor, rates can reach hundreds of dollars per hour.
Freelancers are great in certain circumstances. The more videos you publish, though, the less efficient they become. Scheduling can get tricky. If you plan to post videos regularly, then this inefficiency is a deal-breaker.
3. Hire a Video Editor Full-Time
Hiring your own full-time video editor is a less common option. It does have huge advantages that other options don’t. The cons are just as large, though – so only few creators opt for this approach.
Pro: Smooth workflows, fast turnaround.
In terms of workflow and speed, hiring a full-time editor is fantastic. A full-time editor becomes part of your business.
They work according to your schedule, giving you a finished product in as little time as possible. If you need a video ready to upload by evening, then you can have a full-time editor prioritize it to ensure that it gets done on time.
Pro: You have greater control over the end product.
An editor who’s focused entirely on your business is much more attuned to your needs. This means that they’ll know just what style of editing you like. They’ll grow skilled at bringing your visions to life.
You can direct them to pick up new skills where needed, and you will have more input on how they do their work. Their priorities are clear, and you won’t ever have to fight for their time and attention.
Con: Hiring a full-time team member is costly and complicated.
Of all the options on this list, in-house video editors are by far the most expensive. A high-quality video editor can demand a hefty salary. On top of that, there are lots of tricky tax and legal obligations involved in hiring your own employees.
You’ll have to provide full-time employees with benefits like health insurance and paid time off. Part-time employees, on the other hand, will have a strict cap on the hours they can work in a week. Hiring an employee is full of hidden costs.
Con: Finding the right person takes time and energy.
Finding the right person will always be a challenge, but at least with freelancers, it’s easy to cut ties and move on.
Hiring a dedicated internal editor, though, can easily set you back weeks if you do it right. And if you get it wrong, months. Firing someone on your payroll, after all, is more complicated than cutting ties with a freelancer.
Hiring a full-time video editor is excellent if you are pumping out dozens of videos a month, but it requires deep pockets and a lot of commitment. If you don’t have the volume, the money, or don’t want to be tied down, steer clear.
4. Outsource to a Dedicated Video Editing Company
A final option is to outsource your editing to a professional video editing company. Despite the word “outsourcing”, these companies are local and will do the work themselves.
Like the other options, there are cons to this method. Still, working with a dedicated company has a lot of significant advantages.
Pro: They're efficient and industry-attuned.
Video editing companies are industry specialists.
Editing is their business – and running a business requires a higher level of organization and professionalism.
This means that these companies will be the most efficient of any of the options. They have systems in place to work with multiple clients and to do it in a way that makes life easier for you, the content creator.
Pro: You benefit from a wide range of editing services.
Video editing companies tend to hit the perfect balance of savings and value.
Their consistent pricing will give you clarity on how much it will cost, and you’ll save hours of your own time that you can dedicate to your own work.
You don’t have to sign them to any complicated contract, but you get the same level of dedication that you would from a full-time employee.
All things considered, outsourcing to a video editing company will be the most cost-effective strategy.
Con: The risk of opting for the wrong company.
There are still some risks involved when you outsource your editing.
First of all, you want to be sure that they are professional and consistent.
Second, you want to take a good look at their work. Make sure they have a high-quality website. Make sure that website includes examples of their work and testimonials from past clients.
If the video editing company you’re looking at has all of these things, then it’s a safe bet that they will deliver that same quality to you.
Outsourcing to a professional video editing company is the best option for the majority of content creators. No other option balances the cost savings, efficient workflows, and quality of editing.