Sooner or later, most successful video creators inevitably run into the following question: How to hire a video editor for YouTube?
You’ve found your niche. Your channel is growing. You’re building a loyal audience.
But keeping up regular, high-quality video production takes tons of creative energy and time.
If you want to scale up your channel, it’s time to delegate. By outsourcing some of your video production process, you rid yourself of drudge work and get your time back. And editing tops the list of time sinks you can easily offload.
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at how to hire a video editor for YouTube. We’ll talk about whether it’s worth it, what to look for, where to find YouTube video editors for hire, and the most common mistakes to avoid.
Is it worth it to hire a video editor for YouTube?
First off, you might doubt whether it’s really worth hiring a video editor for YouTube.
After all, you’ve been managing on your own so far. And there’s no question that outsourcing your editing comes at a price.
However, you can be sure that hiring a video editor is absolutely the way to go if you want to grow your channel. For successful YouTubers, hiring an editor is not a luxury. It’s a necessary expense – and one with big returns.
Professional editors can turn raw footage into finished clips far more efficiently and skillfully. They can polish sub-par video, add jaw-dropping effects, and select the perfect audio mix to match.
And crucially, they can do all this fast. Most video editing companies and many freelance video editors guarantee short turnover times.
Let’s do some easy maths.
Most professional YouTubers post two to five times per week.
Others post daily, especially during events like vlogmas.
The average length of each video is approximately 8 to 10 minutes. And it takes roughly 1 hour to edit 1 minute of finished video.
Let’s stay at the lower end of this range. Say you want to post two 8-minute videos per week and your editing skills are already pretty solid.
That means you’d spend around 16 hours every week just editing your footage. In addition to coming up with ideas, getting your set ready, shooting everything, and managing your channel.
You can save pretty much all of those hours by outsourcing your YouTube video editing.
And crucially, you’ll be able to spend this time more productively – on generating fantastic new content ideas, interacting with your followers, and pitching brands. It’s just as important to practice self care to avoid creator burnout.
In short: You are your channel’s most valuable resource. Your audience is there for you alone. Delegating video editing is a way of investing in yourself.
Let’s hear how YouTube creator Kat Wonders puts it in her thank-you video to her editor:
What to look for in a YouTube video editor
Once you’ve decided to hire a YouTube video editor, it’s time to think about what to look for in your candidates.
After all, there are hundreds of video editing companies out there and thousands of freelance editors.
Handily, there are a few key ways to narrow it down.
First, strike editors that don’t specialize in social media content off your list.
Many video editors and video editing services are generalists, and a good part of the rest specialize in stuff like wedding videos or corporate communication.
What you want, though, is someone who’s got tons of experience editing for YouTube – someone who’s familiar with the platform’s quirks, and knows how to structure a video to captivate both the audience and YouTube’s algorithm.
But you can go even further than that – look for editors who specialize in the kind of content you create. There are video editing services out there that exclusively work on talking-head videos. Others focus on travel content, gaming, or course content.
One way to check if a YouTube video editor has experience in your niche is to check their portfolio. This will give you a good idea of the type of work they do – from the kind of content they edit to the range of effects and add-ons they offer.
Another crucial element to check are reviews and testimonials. These can grant you some great insights into an editor’s skills, but also how reliable and easy to work with they are. For video editing companies, check review sites such as Google, Yelp and Trustpilot. For freelancers, platforms like Upwork highlight reviews and ratings.
Where to find YouTube video editors for hire
Once you’ve fixed your priorities for what to look for in a YouTube video editor, it’s time to set out on your quest. But where should you go looking first?
There are a few different places to find YouTube video editors for hire. It only depends a little on whether you want to hire a freelancer or a video editing company.
For freelancers, you can check platforms like Upwork, Guru, Fiverr, Jooble, and Freelancer.com. These are handy because you can quickly filter editors according to their skills, pricing, and area of expertise.
For video editing services, Google is the easiest place to start. Just go through the first few pages of search results and then pick out those companies that match your criteria. Best-of lists are a great option to quickly get a sense of how different offers compare.
So what should you opt for – a freelancer or a video editing company?
Freelancers are typically highly specialized and very flexible. Plus, you’ll get to know them well and they’ll become familiar with your video style. However, they can be pretty limited in their availability – especially if they’re very skilled and in demand.
Video editing companies are more dependable and have a much larger capacity to handle orders since they have multiple editors at their disposal. That means that they can stick to fixed turnover times. Even for daily posting, for example for the vlogmas tradition we mentioned before.
Typically, they also include a standard number of revision requests in their offers. One downside is that not all companies guarantee that you’ll get the same editor to work with every time.
3 mistakes to avoid when you hire a video editor for YouTube
Finally, there are a few mistakes you need to avoid when you’re about to hire a video editor for YouTube. Here are the most frequent ones.
1 - Going for the lowest price tag
When you’re looking for a YouTube video editor for hire, don’t automatically pick the one with the lowest price tag.
Of course, going with the cheapest option is tempting. However, there’s usually a reason why certain editors and editing services charge less.
If you’re extremely lucky, it’s because they are located in a country with very low living costs.
Typically, though, it’s because their skills are mediocre at best, and so they have to compete mostly on price.
That means that you may well end up paying more for their services – especially since they usually charge extra for revisions, perhaps knowing that you will need them. At the same time, this holds up your entire production process.
Sometimes, you’ll just end up stuck with an unsatisfying “final” product.
Instead, carefully weigh different pricing options – from per-project pricing to subscriptions – to see where you can get the most bang for your buck.
2 - Skipping research
Another mistake many YouTubers make when they’re looking for an editor is to go with the first decent option and quit searching.
You find a freelancer on Upwork who’s worked on your kind of content before, their pricing is affordable, they’re available, and their reviews look solid. Great!
But just because they’re okay, it doesn’t mean that they’re the best fit for you.
It’s only by investing some more time and effort into thorough research that you’ll be able to pinpoint the perfect editor for your needs.
Better to spend an extra few hours on the internet comparing offers than struggle with editing-related issues later.
3 - Expecting them to read your mind
And finally, one frequent mistake YouTubers make – especially the first time they hire an editor – is to expect them to read their minds.
Yes, editors are professionals who spent much of their life selecting the right video sequences and fitting them together into one compelling end result. Yes, they usually check your channel to get a feeling for your unique pacing and video tone.
But they’re not psychic.
In order to get the maximum benefit out of ordering a video editor, you need to clearly communicate your creative vision. Let your editor know what you expect in terms of transitions, structure, and effects. If you have a script, let them have it!
Only that way you’ll get an end result you’re truly happy with.
The Bottom Line
How to hire a video editor for YouTube is not an easy question to answer. It depends on your channel’s unique needs, your budget, and your priorities.
But by setting your criteria in advance, being clear about how much you want to invest in editing, and doing some thorough research, you’ll be able to find the perfect editor to help you go viral as a YouTuber.
A YouTube video editor should be able to demonstrate his experience with portfolio pieces and testimonials, ideally with pieces that match the kind of content you want to create.
The quickest way is to just google for them and list those who match your criteria and budget. If you want to go for a freelancer rather than a video editing service, you should start with the big freelancer platforms out there, such as Upwork or Fiverr.
You can make sure to pick an editor based on thorough research, not focusing on the price too much, and possibly by asking several for a trial video. Also, the clearer your instructions are – the video brief – the better your chances at getting exactly what you want.