If you want to work in video editing but don’t want to be tied down to one company or studio, you might want to consider being a freelance video editor.
As a freelance video editor, you will be able to work with a diverse range of customers on a wide range of projects. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could work on an interview one day and a short film the next, rather than just one sort of content?
Learn more about launching a career in videography by reading on.
Step Zero: Decide if It’s for You
Before you take the first step toward being a freelance video editor, ask yourself if it’s life for you. Typical full-time employment provides you with consistent hours, stable compensation, health insurance (maybe), and social connections with coworkers.
Freelancing is a risky business. And it can be really stressful when you don’t know how many days until the next paid project arrives. While conventional full-time work is low risk and has a known payoff, freelancing is high risk and has the possibility for a significant reward as well as no reward at all.
You are also your own boss if you work as a freelancer. Nobody is going to throw a task list in your lap every week. You must be the one who finds new clients and works on tasks. If you can’t stick to a schedule or meet deadlines, you’ll suffer as a freelancer. Every day, it necessitates a great deal of self-control.
If you think you’re up for it, let’s go on to step one!
Step One: Study and Practice
To make it as a professional video editor, you must be really talented at what you do. Learn how to utilize the editing software you’ve chosen, and constantly be prepared to learn more.
Work on projects that will never be released so that you can master a new method. If you don’t have something to edit, try creating a fake commercial for an object in your home or recording yourself playing a video game and making it interesting to watch.
It will be tough to find clients if you do not know how to edit at a reasonably advanced level. However, you must also demonstrate that you know what you’re doing. For practice, select some of your best projects from the past. Then, either publish them to a portfolio or keep a private portfolio to share with potential clients.
But how do you find those potential customers?
Step Two: Obtain the Required Hardware
Hold on a second. You aren’t quite ready to take on clients yet. Before you get out there and start landing clients, you’ll need to be sure you have the necessary hardware. If your editing computer frequently crashes while editing, your projects will be late, and your average hourly wage will fall.
Here are some goals to strive for:
- Enough CPU and RAM capability to handle complex timelines without crashing
- Enough CPU or GPU rendering capability to export videos in a reasonable amount of time
- Plenty of hard drive space or cloud storage to safely store client footage and projects
- Enough hard drive space or cloud storage to archive old client projects just in case future edits are needed
Step Three: Locate Your First Client
Finding your first client can be the most difficult step, but it is also the most vital. The first client you get will establish your credibility as a professional editor.
To future prospective clients, you can say, “I’ve done work for XYZ Company.” That is far more convincing than claiming you have no experience.
As a result, the first client is one of the most difficult to secure. You may have to accept a reduced salary or take on a project that you aren’t very enthused about. You can hunt for work in unusual areas.
Local high school sports teams, college organizations, small local businesses, and, of course, friends and family can all be excellent places to start your editing career.
Of course, to get your freelance business off to a good start, you should sign up for a freelancing job site like Fiverr or Upwork. These websites will introduce you to a world of possible customers, but it is not a guarantee.
These websites are quite competitive, which means that dozens or hundreds of other freelancers may be applying for the same task. Your ranking on these sites is equally important, and a few negative reviews can cost you a lot of money.
If all else fails, start contacting people and asking them questions. Determine whether YouTube creators are expanding and may be interested in employing an editor. Find Twitch streamers who could be interested in creating YouTube content from their streams.
Keep an eye out for businesses that have out-of-date instructional videos or advertisements. Cold calling or cold emailing can be intimidating, yet you might reach out to someone at the perfect time.
If you’re lucky, you might meet a client online or through personal connections who requires your services for a long-term project.
Step Four: Go Full-Time
The ultimate goal for any freelancer is to be able to quit their day job and work solely as a freelancer. You’ll be able to do this after you’re earning a decent living from freelancing and have a constant flow of business. Taking this risk can be dangerous. So, before quitting, make sure you have a large number of long-term clients lined up.
There are numerous factors to consider while deciding to work full-time. Your taxes will no longer be based on a W-2; instead, you will receive 1099 forms and will be required to file self-employment taxes. You must pay close attention to where you are receiving money, as it will come from a variety of sources.
Some smaller jobs may not provide you with a tax form, which means you’ll need to keep a closer eye on your earnings. You will also need to make greater investments in your personal workstation.
Without an employer to support you with supplies and gear, you’ll have to spend your own money to upgrade your editing machine, get a comfy office chair, and purchase new editing equipment.
You should also have some critical systems in place to ensure the seamless operation of the business. Editing is one thing, but you must also have solid business acumen.
- Paperwork: It’s important that you have a standard method of invoicing, deciding rates, accepting payment, and enforcing deadlines. A good contract can protect you from an unscrupulous client.
- Project Management: If you’re juggling multiple projects at once, it’s useful to use a project management tool such as Trello or Asana. With these tools, you can keep track of your status and deadlines in an organized fashion.
Step Five: Establishing the Company
You might want to take your freelance video editing business to the next level once you’re established, making money, and growing. You will eventually reach a point where the amount of work on your desk is too much for you to handle on your own.
The first stage is to use stock footage, templates, and copyright-free content as much as possible. This will save you a significant amount of time over starting from scratch.
When you’re completely overwhelmed with work, you could think about hiring help. This could include a secondary editor who can handle lesser assignments, or it could include a cameraman who can film footage in the field when needed. You might eventually stop editing entirely and spend your days pitching to new clients and managing your expanding workforce…
That’s a long way off, but one may hope!
Source: Filter Grade
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