Side Hustle: How to Become a Freelance Video Editor

As a freelance video editor, you have the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects, from short films and commercials to music videos and corporate videos. With the right skills and experience, you can build a successful and fulfilling career as a freelance video editor. To launch your career, you will need to develop your skills, build a portfolio of your work, and network with other professionals in the field. By staying up-to-date with the latest technologies and trends, and being open to collaboration and feedback, you can position yourself as a sought-after freelance video editor and create a successful career on your own terms.

In this article we will be looking at these points, and also how to avoid the hassle around the billing and invoicing process can be stressful. It’s also arguably the most important step of working with a client—not only to ensure you get paid on time, but as a way of establishing your professionalism and building a positive long-term client relationship.

Starting freelance video editing

The Digital Transformation

In today’s post-pandemic world, our work patterns have changed. People don't get to go to work like they used to, but they are still looking to have a good time. It just so happens that you can help them to do so by having a hand in the content they consume. You see, if people are spending fewer hours on the road, it means that they have more time to watch videos at home. What does that mean? Well, your skills may be needed more than you know.

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Platforms, such as TikTok, YouTube, and Netflix, have seen a surge in the amount of time people spend on them this year. The first thing you should be thinking about is how you can become a part of the production of some of the content being put out. What are you going to do to make some money and establish new clients?

At the end of the day, most of these clients know that they are in the business of uploading videos, and they need video editing work completed.

Opportunities for Freelance Video Editors

What can a freelance video editor do in these evolving times? Well, here are some of the opportunities that you can use to make a living while getting some work experience:

Conference Video Editing

If you find the right clients, you could make this one a full-time job. Almost every company that can do so chooses to host their meetings and conferences online now. They have the resources to do so, and they need to help their staff members to stay safe. When they create the videos with whatever recording feature they use, editing is often required. If you can get freelance video editing jobs from a business that needs someone with editing skills, you're on your way to months or even years of consistent income.

Explainer Video Production

Explainer video content is not a new trend. Business and personal users post them all the time on social media and in other places to get the desired message out. However, posters need to have each video project edited before they can have full confidence in the posts. Once you've grasped the concept of remote working and you want to use your creative skills in editing to make some money. Additionally, such projects help you to get valuable experience working in your field as you satisfy clients. If you can find work with a business or person who needs help editing explainer video projects, use the opportunity to build your portfolio while you earn from the client.

Talking Head Productions

These productions are used for marketing and informational purposes. People are used to the face-to-face type of communication, and so, a business must find ways to start virtual relationships with clients on some level. These recordings need video editing before they can work in the manner intended. That's yet another opportunity that you could take advantage of in your search for freelance video editor jobs.

Note that this list is a start, and it's by no means exhaustive. As a freelancer who wants to work as a video editor, you need to spend time looking into the new possibilities that have emerged.

What Tools Can You Use?

If you plan on freelancing part-time or full-time, you need to be responsible enough to have all the tools you need before taking on any work that requires you to edit anything. Here are some video editing software examples that you can use to get through your freelancing project requirements:

1. Splice - Good audio is an essential part of the video editing experience, and Splice is an excellent application for your freelance editing needs. You get a tool that helps you to create and collaborate on music, with cloud backup, just in case you forget to save whatever media you're working on. With features, such as version control, you can access the first iteration of a piece that you had a few days ago as quickly as you can access the most current ones.

2. InShot - If you want a fantastic and easily accessible tool that facilitates a freelance video editor's work, you need to start using InShot. It's a comprehensive video editing tool that you can use to show how creative you can be to a client. Trimming, filters, resizing, and speed adjustments are just a few of the basic options InShot gives you to work with. The best part is that it's an Android and iOS based platform, so you can build your portfolio and work on editing pieces from the comfort of your phone.

3. Magisto - Here's yet another app that shows off the benefits of years of innovation. Video editors can take advantage of features, such as filters, cropping, facial recognition, stabilization, etc., which can make your client deliverables stand out. Any freelance video editor can use this mobile app to put their skills to the test.

The First Portfolio Productions

Most clients are going to want to see what kind of skills you have before they offer you a job. Even if it isn't full-time work, people still wish to know that a freelance candidate can handle the video editing tasks assigned on any given day. Your portfolio is like a visual resume that an employer can use to evaluate where you stand and if an engagement with you can work out.

While you can use the jobs you land while freelancing to beef up the portfolio, don't wait for your job search to succeed before you work on it. Spend time playing around with the tools at your disposal, so you have something to present to potential employers.

Where to Look for Work

Long ago, there weren't many options that didn't involve searching newspaper classifieds. Thankfully, freelance video editors now have the power of the internet. Each year, tons of people find opportunities online, and there's no reason why you can't do the same. The question is, where should you be digging around for freelancing opportunities? Here are some stellar options to consider:

  1. Freelancer marketplaces, such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Toptal
  2. Social platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
  3. Job posting sites, such as, Glassdoor, and Ladders

Determine Your Freelance Conditions

Even if you're not getting a full-time opportunity, you should think about establishing policies that govern how you provide your services and what stipulations are attached. Freelance video editor rates vary, for example, and your offerings should be priced appropriately. There is also the matter of the number of revisions. You aren't always going to initially hit the nail on the head, so you should have a revision policy. Finally, what are your payment terms? Is there a deposit at the start, or do you collect everything at the end?

In Summary: Launching Your Freelance Video Editing Career

  1. Start by building a portfolio of your work. This can include video editing projects you have completed for personal or professional use, as well as any relevant coursework or training you have received.
  2. Develop a strong understanding of the video editing software and techniques used in the industry, and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies.
  3. Network with other professionals in the field, such as videographers, photographers, and other video editors, to build relationships and gain access to potential clients and opportunities.
  4. Consider joining a professional association or organization, such as the American Cinema Editors, to gain access to resources, networking opportunities, and industry news and events as a professional video editor.
  5. Create a website or online portfolio to showcase your work and abilities as an experienced video editor, and use social media and online platforms to promote your services and reach potential clients.
  6. Set up a clear pricing structure and terms of service, and be prepared to negotiate and discuss your rates and fees with potential clients.
  7. Be willing to take on small, short-term projects to gain experience and build your portfolio, and be open to collaboration and feedback to improve your skills and grow as a professional.
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