How to become a Freelance Video Editor in 2024

February 7, 2024
freelance video editor

Table of Contents

On average a freelance video editor can make around 20000-24000 rupees per month, which is 3 LPA a year. That’s an average number, but if you are pro at what you do and can earn upto 20 lakhs rupees per annum. But becoming a pro freelance video editor is not a walk in the garden, there are lots of effort and years of experience involved.

As a freelance video editor, you must do video editing, do storytelling through your videos, do post-production work, handle multiple projects at once, and meet client deadlines on top of that, you need to stay updated with all the new trends and video editing tools coming in the market.

This may sound like a lot, but if you are passionate about making people awestricken by your visual stories and earning while doing so, then doing freelance video editing is for you. And the best part about becoming a freelance video editor is that you get to choose what you create and for whom you create those visually magical videos. Meaning you will be your own boss, working and earning on your own terms.

Skills and Qualifications Required for Freelance Video Editing

1. Knowledge of video editing software and techniques

Having in-depth knowledge of every major video editing software is one must-have skill for any freelance video editor. Software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, or DaVinci Resolve are someone the well-know and used software in which you should be trained.

Also read: How to learn video editing

2. Understanding of storytelling and pacing in video

Videos are medium of conveying messages in interesting and engaging manner, it can only be done if the freelance video editor does their job correctly. For this you need to learn the skill of storytelling and how to pace the video appropriately.

3. Creativity and attention to detail

Video editing is a work of art in which you need to keep your mind and eyes open for any ideas or out of the box creativity. Along with that a freelance video editor must have an eye for detail to make decisions regarding choosing colour gradients, textures, visual effects and audio etc. 

4. Ability to work independently and manage time effectively

Want to work with multiple clients and get a high-paying freelance video editor salary? Then you must know how to work independently and meet all the deadlines on time. Thus, self-motivation and time-management skills are necessary.

How To Start a Career As A Freelance Video Editor?

Young professionals and students, who want to opt for freelance video editing as a career face an inevitable question: how to start a career in video editing? Although video editing is a comparatively newer career option, it might seem a little overwhelming initially; however, just like any career, it requires a lot of patience and a solid determination to learn the new skill set.

start career as a Freelance Video Editor

1. Choose and Learn About a Genre

The internet is flooded with various video content that is freely accessible to the audience. The viewers can choose from a variety of topics like comedy, music, drama and cartoons. Each type of video content is edited using a particular method and software. As a freelance video editor, one must choose a specific category or genre of editing and acquire its knowledge. Once you have obtained sufficient knowledge of one category, you can navigate to other forms of editing. Let us understand some categories or genres of video editing:

  • Online Editing: Online editing means the final processing of the final draft of the video. It is usually done on computers equipped with high-speed processors and higher RAM.
  • Offline Editing: In this technique, the original raw footage of the video is compressed to a smaller resolution. The video editor works on proxy footage; once the processing is finished, the same is replaced with the original footage.
  • Assemble Editing: Assemble editing means putting together two or more different raw footage together without adding any special effect or transition between them.
  • Insert Editing: This new technique helps the editor insert new video footage into the existing video footage. It allows the editor better control over the edited version of the footage compared to assemble editing.

2. Develop and practice your skills

After you have decided on the genre or category of video editing technique you want to master, the next step is to start practising the newly acquired skill. Watching tutorials is the easiest way to learn and practice a new skill. Many websites provide learning materials and tutorials on video editing. Some of these websites are:

  • Philip Bloom: Philip Bloom is a famous filmmaker who runs his blog about the best camera equipment and editing software. Aspiring video editors can visit the website to learn about the nuances of filmmaking and video editing.
  • No Film School: It is a growing online community of freelance video creators and filmmakers worldwide. No Film School has a vast collection of tutorials and blogs regarding video editing.
  • Larry Jordan: The website has a massive library of resources for people interested in video editing and other filmmaking-related things. It has around 1600 free tutorials on video editing.
  • Surfaced Studio: If you wish to learn and understand the VFX methodology of video editing, then Surfaced studio is a great learning platform.

3. Consider getting a degree

The competition in the market is steadily increasing as many young professionals and students are opting for freelance video editing as a career. To stand out from the crowd, one should consider pursuing a course related to their choice of freelance work. Several platforms and websites offer certifications and courses for aspiring video editors, some of which are listed below:

Video Editing For Beginners: Learn how to Edit

The course is designed for people with little or no video editing knowledge and who wish to start a career in video editing. The program has a duration of about 1.5 hrs and contains 30 lectures. The course is available on Udemy for free, but you need to pay the fees if you also want the certificate of completion.

Video Editors: Learn 3D Video Composting

The course is available on Udemy and covers different topics such as special effects layering and 3D Video Composting. The program has a duration of about 3 hrs and contains 15 lectures. A freelance video editor should devote sufficient time to upskill and practice video editing. They can record short videos for editing practice. Since video editing requires a creative and imaginative mind, one must collect sample videos for editing practice.

Ensure you have the right equipment

To become a competitive video editor, one must be thorough with market research and know the equipment and software required to create impressionable video footage. A freelance video editor enjoys the leverage and has the creative freedom to convert boring raw footage into a fantastic piece of artwork. But to do so, they need to use good quality editing equipment and software. Some factors should be considered while choosing the proper computer hardware for editing:

  • For editing videos, the video editors should select a computer that has adequate space in its hard drive and that the processor is compatible with running editing software.
  • The editing software should be equipped with a media encoder to help convert and export the final edited video for publishing on various social media platforms like Youtube and Instagram.
  • The video editor might work on two or three monitors simultaneously as it helps in the editing process. While one monitor can be used exclusively for editing, the other can be used to view the edited version.
  • The video editor should also invest in good-quality headphones and speakers to help create appropriate soundtracks and background music.
Name of the SoftwareKey Features
iMovieDrag and Drop feature4K resolution cloud Storage available high-quality title animations
Wondershare FilmoraIdeal for beginners, drag and drop feature Editable title cards video effects like greyscale and greenscreen
Adobe Premiere ProVideo footage can be accurately trimmed corporate animation and video effect Import video from an external source

4. Use a website to display your work

Young professionals who wish to start a career as freelance video editors must create an impressionable online presence that would help pitch to potential clients. Video editors can use several websites to display their freelance projects, such as:

  • Viedit: It is a popular platform amongst freelancers for showcasing video editing skills. The freelancers can show the videos they edited and uploaded on Youtube or Vimeo. The website allows freelancers to decide their fees, but they have to pay a certain percentage of their earnings to the website.
  • Behance: It is one of the largest platforms for freelance video editors, which is used to display projects about graphic design, advertising and video editing. Freelancers can showcase their talents through projects. These projects are assigned unique URLs which can be shared with potential clients.
  • ProductionHUB: Its a worldwide network of filmmakers and video editors. It is helpful for customers who want to hire freelance video editors or filmmakers for their projects.
  • VideoPixie: It is one of the most sought-after marketplaces where freelance video editors can display their talent. Customers can choose from a large pool of talented video editors and filmmakers.

5. Make connections and network

As a freelance video editor, the next step is approaching potential clients after choosing an appropriate platform for showcasing and displaying one’s work. The best way to pitch to clients is to join filmmaking-related groups on various social media platforms. However, while networking and making new work connections, certain things should be kept in mind:

  • Inform people about your video editing skills and why your work is unique and different from others.
  • As a freelancer, be vocal about the fact that you are looking for a job and why they should hire you.
  • While networking with customers, one should be open to queries about work and be prepared with answers.
  • Networking is a never-ending and continuous process.

6. Consider volunteering or lowering your price

It is essential that freelancers explore different categories of video editing and do not set rigid work boundaries. While creating work connections and networking with potential customers, the freelancer should communicate clearly about the fee they would charge for their services. However, freelancers should also realize the importance of volunteering to work on new projects. While working on a new project, one might get lesser monetary compensation, but they would get a lot of experience and exposure that would help in getting more work and money in the future.

7. Develop an appropriate billing system

While searching for job opportunities and freelance projects, freelance video editors must also be prepared with an effective billing system to help them manage their earnings. Some things should be kept in mind while drafting a billing system:

  • The invoice should always mention the name of the project.
  • It should mention details about the hourly rate, if applicable
  • It should mention the deadline of the project.
  • It should also mention the number of reworks the freelancer would provide free of cost and the rework fee separately.

8. Build your online portfolio

Freelance video editors must create an impressionable online portfolio that could be used to highlight their best creations. A portfolio is a collection of work that one has done in the past. A strong portfolio makes it easier to approach clients and pitch your work. Many websites can be used to create a portfolio for video editing like:

Name of the WebsiteFeatures
SquareSpaceCustomized templates auto-play feature customizable video gallery
WixUnlimited Video portfolio templatesUpload high-resolution video customize the videos as per frame rate and player size
Site123User-friendly interface simple templates that do not require much editingIdeal for beginners

Freelance video editors might learn only one kind of video editing and build their portfolio according to that, or they can try different types of editing and create diverse portfolios. However, they would need to draft a clever work strategy that is not very rigid in both situations.

A Part-time Job that Pays like Full-time

How To Find Freelance Video Editing Jobs: 4 Easy Ways

Once you have learned a specific type of video editing, the next step is searching for video editing jobs. The freelance video editor might decide to work on individual projects for multiple clients or enter into a long-term contract with a single client for various projects. Let’s discuss some of the popular ways to find a job as a freelance video editor:

1. Join a channel for Freelancers on Slack

Slack is fast emerging as a new way to communicate in a work environment. Slack is a messaging platform meant for businesses and customers. It creates a communication channel between different companies and their potential customers. It is considered to be safer and more efficient than email communication. A freelance video editor can follow the following steps to search and join a channel on Slack that is exclusively for filmmakers and video editors:

  • The freelancer can browse all the channels listed in their workspace and then select the name of the channel that they wish to join.
  • Then select the channel and preview its details.
  • Then click on the tab “Join Channel.”

2. Attend networking events specifically for video editors

Another way to find work as a freelance video editor is by attending networking events that filmmakers and video editors organize. These events are a great way to meet new people who specialize in your desired work area. The networking events allow freelancers to showcase their talent and make it easier to pitch to potential clients. These events can be searched online on some of the below-mentioned websites:

  • Meetup: It is a popular online platform that freelancers can access to find out about the events being organized in a specific area. Meetup categorizes upcoming events into various categories like events starting soon, trending, and online events. This makes searching for the networking event a lot easier.
  • Eventbrite: Eventbrite is a global platform where freelancers can search for networking events organized in a particular area. One can search for events and find out details such as the date of the event and its address and can also purchase the tickets to attend the event.

Apart from these websites, one can also search the networking events on social media platforms like Facebook.

3. Be Active on Linkedin and other job boards

A freelance video editor needs to work on building an online presence so that they can improve the credibility of their work. The job market is technology-driven, and applying for jobs has become much more manageable. The job search websites like Linkedin, Indeed and Glassdoor allow job seekers to display their talents and gather the required attention from employers. A freelance video editor can approach clients and businesses on Linkedin by creating a Linkedin page and constantly updating it. They can follow some simple steps to keep their profile active:

  • Post articles and details about your work regularly.
  • Send cold emails to prospective businesses and individuals explaining your work and expertise.
  • Interact with profile visitors and advocate for your work.
  • Don’t hesitate to make new connections and interact with them regularly.

4. Create work profiles on gig-centric websites

Another great way to become more visible online is to apply for short-term projects or gigs on freelance platforms. By doing so, you would be able to generate credentials for your work and also gain some confidence. There are many online platforms that the freelancer can choose from and create an account through which they can apply for projects, such as:

1. Upwork

Upwork is one of the most known and renowned platforms that allows users to search for freelance work across the globe. The platform charges about 20% of the income from the users as a service fee.

2. Fiverr

Fiverr allows freelancers to display their portfolio of work and also fix a price range at which they are willing to work. The businesses place a bid on the projects, and freelancers can apply for the project according to these bids.

3. People per Hour

People per hour is one of the leading freelancer platforms where they can display their portfolios and use them for the listed projects. The freelancers can also add offers to their profiles to look more lucrative to prospective clients.

Related Article: Top 25 Freelance Jobs from Home that Pay Really Well

Is Freelance Video Editing Worth Its Hype?

Nowadays, where technology has impacted almost all aspects of life, the conventional job search has become convenient and competitive. Due to this freelance industry is blooming at an increasing rate, and video editing is becoming a very sort after option. Many organizations are looking to hire talented video editors. Freelance video editing as a career is an excellent option as it can be pursued as a permanent career choice. As a career, Freelance video editing is worth a try as it gives the job seeker financial freedom and helps maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the scope for a freelance video editor?

A freelance video editor must work closely with individuals and businesses who want to grow their business or consumer base with the help of advertisements, documentaries and television programs. The freelance video editors might take up multiple projects at a time, depending upon the availability of time and resources.

How much does a freelance video editor charge?

A freelance video editor can charge the client for every project individually or have a long-term contract for multiple projects. They can charge up to $75-$150 per hour.

Which is the best editing software in 2024?

The choice of the best editing software depends on various factors, including your needs, preferences, and the type of content being edited. Some professional-grade software, such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X, has become industry standards. Oscar-winning movies like ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ and ‘PARASITE’ were edited using this software, respectively. Having proficiency in Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X showcases a mastery of industry-standard video editing tools, making you a qualified candidate for freelance video editing gigs.

How do I get my first video editing job?

The best way to get a job as a freelance video editor is by applying for short-term projects and building your portfolio. Once you complete a few tasks, you can make a portfolio and approach clients as a freelance video editor.

Is video editing a good side hustle?

Yes, it is one of the most popular side hustle options for young professionals who wish to earn extra money without making a considerable investment, as other businesses require.

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