Outsourcing YouTube Video Creation: Free Up Your Time, Keep Creative Control
Outsourcing YouTube video creation – or at least some parts of it – is inevitable for most successful YouTubers.
Your YouTube channel is taking off. Your subscriber numbers are steadily climbing, and your view counts are hitting new records. Fantastic!
At this stage, though, you’ve probably run into one major challenge: time.
Or rather, lack of time.
The Output Challenge
To keep your audience growing and engaged, you’re under pressure to step up your content output. To do two videos a week instead of one. Then take it up to three.
YouTube’s algorithm is known to favor high channel output, which has pushed some YouTubers to the brink of burnout.
At some point, running a channel just becomes too much for one person to handle, even if you’re armed with the best of management and production tools.
That’s where outsourcing comes in.
You might be reluctant to outsource even small parts of content creation. That’s understandable. You’ve built your channel from the ground up, and you’ve shaped a personal brand that your viewers love.
Luckily, it’s possible to delegate quite a lot without losing creative control. To help you, here’s your ultimate guide to outsourcing YouTube video creation.
We’ll take a look at the benefits of handing off some work to others, which aspects of video creation you can outsource, and how much it would cost you.
Why Outsource Parts of Video Creation?
In short, outsourcing helps you save valuable time – and allows you to focus on what really matters.
At some point in your career as a YouTuber, you yourself become your most important asset. People love your style, your personality – your brand.
Consequently, that’s what you should be cultivating.
But to free up enough time to properly focus on this, it’s essential to delegate other tasks.
Even the best one-person show has its limits. And if you’re constantly doing too many things at once, it’s all too easy to fall into a slump – a slump that might turn into full-on creator burnout.
Outsourcing bits of your content creation process lets you increase your output without it eating up your life.
Another big plus: Handing off tasks to specialists usually gets you better results than you could have produced on your own. They have the requisite skill set and work experience to produce amazing output.
Overall, this will help you to keep growing your channel, and generate more income from it. Basically, outsourcing is a mark of a true YouTube professional.
Outsourcing YouTube Video Creation: What to Delegate?
Once you’ve decided to delegate some aspects of content creation, the natural follow-up question is: Which ones?
In theory, you can outsource just about anything. However, it won’t always make sense economically – or in terms of your brand. It really depends on the kind of content you’re producing, and on how many channels you’re running.
For example, if you’re primarily a fashion vlogger operating from home, you likely won’t need videographers. On the other hand, if your niche is outdoor sports vlogging, having someone experienced in charge of capturing the action from all the right angles makes your life so much easier.
When deciding what to outsource, take a look at your weekly schedule and check what you spend the most time on. What are your own solid skills? What could someone else do better?
Then, focus on how much time you could save, and how much the quality of your content would be improved by handing those tasks off to someone else.
To help you get a sense of what sort of tasks you may want to outsource, here’s a general run-down.
We’ll go from the planning stage over videography and editing, and also take a look at admin work you could leave to others.
Research: Content, Audience, and SEO Strategy
First off, there’s the basic question of what content you want to have on your channel.
When you’re starting out on a new project, you’re brimming with ideas and creativity. After a few months or years, though, you might feel strapped for original ideas.
This is where audience and content research come in handy, as well as some serious strategizing to increase your visibility.
YouTube SEO experts, research assistants, and video analysts can help you learn more about your audience and their main interests. This helps you create captivating content that’ll boost your engagement levels.
Good SEO (Search Engine Optimization), in particular, is crucial when you’re aiming to sustainably grow your channel and win over YouTube’s search algorithm.
YouTube is, after all, a search engine at heart. In fact, it’s the world’s second biggest, just after Google.
SEO helps you increase your visibility, making it easier for people to find your content.
Essentially, SEO research consists of digging into what keywords and -phrases your target audience is searching for. What topics are trending? What is new in your niche? And: What are your competitor channels posting?
Ultimately, this will give you ideas for the type of content your audience wants, as well as words and phrases to use in your video description, (hash)tags, and titles.
Another plus of teaming up with a YouTube SEO expert is that they’ll also tell you what to avoid. What mistakes have cost similar channels subscribers? Which tags are on the out?
Finally, they can analyze the performance of your existing content and look for ways to optimize it.
SEO specialists are typically paid hourly rates. The price range for this job is very wide, but expect to pay at least $20 per hour.
Writing: Scripts, Descriptions, and Captions
Next up, you can outsource the writing tasks that come with creating a YouTube video.
First off, there’s writing the actual script for your video. Having a well-structured script saves you time and nerves during filming and editing.
A good script writer will be able to identify your unique voice and write in it accordingly. They can help you decide what to say, how to say it best – and what to show at the same time.
Even if you already have a very clear idea of what that’s going to be, they can help you make it easier for your audience to follow.
Another aspect of writing for YouTube is captions. While often neglected, they can directly increase the visibility of your content. And: Auto-captioning often get essential bits, like people’s names or brands, wrong. YouTube automation is useful, but it does have its limits.
For an extra audience boost, you could also consider having your captions translated.
Actually filming your videos is at the heart of content creation. So it’s only natural if you’re most reluctant to outsource this part of YouTube video creation.
In many cases, you probably don’t have to.
If you’re a fashion vlogger, for example, and operating out of your home, you likely won’t need a videographer. All you really need is a great vlogging camera, a good mic, and decent lighting.
However, if you’re shooting content that’s visually complex, or in challenging locations, you should consider hiring a specialist.
For example, you might want to shoot fast-paced, action-rich content – or nature scenes with various perspectives and depths of field.
In these cases, having an expert – and their equipment! – on hand can do wonders for video quality. The same is true if you’re aiming for special effects like slo-mo or time-lapse footage outside what a basic camera might manage.
Similarly, if you’re looking for some breathtaking outdoor establishing shots, consider hiring a drone videographer for the gig!
Typically, your video crew will consist of one or two camera operators, and a sound recordist. For bigger projects, though, having more people quickly becomes useful.
One of the biggest advantages of hiring a videography team is that it comes with top-notch equipment that you yourself don’t have to invest in or learn how to handle.
For some types of content, you could even consider renting a videography studio, complete with crew and equipment, in your vicinity. You don’t need to live near Hollywood to find these – though there are a lot of very famous Californian YouTubers who might be benefiting from the local expertise.
Generally, you can hire videographers on a half-daily basis, with rates starting at $100-$250 per half-day.
Some videographers also offer packages in which they include editing. In this case, expect around $250 per 30 seconds of finished video.
Next up: Video editing. Typically, this is the single greatest time sink when it comes to content creation.
This is another task many YouTubers are reluctant to delegate, since there’s a lot of creative control tied up in it.
If that’s also a concern for you, ask yourself: How much time does it take to edit a video?
How many hours do you actually spend on routine tasks like just cutting silence or dumping obviously bad footage?
The answer is probably: Too many.
When you weigh the time – and other benefits – you gain from outsourcing video editing against the degree of control you trade for it, it often ultimately benefits you.
In fact, one YouTube talent manager told Business Insider that about 70% of the job can be outsourced without any worries whatsoever.
Of course, a good video editor will take a look at your existing content to get a feel of your style and pacing, and replicate it accordingly – if that’s what you want. These are professionals who know how to efficiently communicate about their work. You’ll be able to give them specifications to follow.
In addition, many freelance editors and most video editing companies include requests for revisions in their pricing. If there’s something in the first draft of the video that you want to change, they will change it.
The costs of hiring a video editor vary. Many freelancers and video editing companies offer package deals. On average, you can expect around $45-60 per hour for a freelance professional, or about $50 for a basic jump cut package.
If you upload regularly, it’s probably worth taking advantage of the bulk packages or subscriptions offered by many video editing companies.
It’s a bit more difficult to pin down what a full video edit will likely cost you. For this, check out our article on what video editing really costs.
Running a YouTube channel involves so much more than just producing content. You know that better than anyone.
First off, there’s all that time swallowed up just by the uploading process. Adding tags, titles, captions, and video descriptions. Taking care of chapters and key moments. Creating and uploading thumbnails. Scheduling content. Adding cards to the end screen of your videos.
In addition, there is the business of replying to viewers’ comments, and managing those that are spammy, offensive, or straight-out trolling.
To save yourself time – and a lot of frustration – you can hand these tasks off to a YouTube channel manager.
YouTube actually provides dedicated access for channel managers. Apart from the primary owner of the channel (you), who has absolute admin power, you can add one or several managers and give them access to particular tasks.
In addition, these people also review and analyze the performance of your content, handle contests and giveaways, and create personalized overlays such as subscribe buttons.
Channel managers tend to ask for hourly rates, and you should expect to pay them around $30-50, mostly depending on skill and experience.
Finally, there is everything that doesn’t have to do with content creation proper, but rather running and growing your business.
One of the first people that many pro YouTubers have added to their team is actually a talent manager. Their job is to help you seek sponsor deals, catch mistakes that could cost you your audience, cultivate your schedule, and advise you in any contract situations or on controversial topics.
Unlike most other team members, talent managers often don’t work on a fixed-rate basis. Instead, they usually work for a commission – taking a cut of your revenue, often 10-20%.
In addition, you should consider reaching out to a lawyer and an accountant, once your YouTube channel reaches a certain size or you start outsourcing tasks.
A lawyer will set up and check any potential contracts. Plus, they’ll be able to assist you if there are any disputes involving your content – for example, if someone else pirates it.
Try to find someone who is has experience with online content creation and copyright. In terms of pricing, expect to pay at least $50 per hour.
And an accountant, of course, is crucial when it comes to properly managing and declaring your revenue. The issue is that many tax forms and procedures are still not really set up to handle non-traditional income from platforms like YouTube. Here, having a professional on your side can help you avoid costly mistakes. Most accountants will charge upwards of $40 per hour.
Finding and Vetting Freelancers and Companies
Once you’ve decided to outsource YouTube video creation – and which particular aspects of it – the next question is who to hire.
For most of the jobs on this list, both individual freelancers and companies will be competing for your business.
To find the best candidates for the job, start by asking around your network for personal recommendations, check platforms like LinkedIn, and post job ads on dedicated online boards.
Once you have a few potential candidates on your list, vet them thoroughly. Check their websites, portfolios, reviews, and testimonials. Talk to them to see how efficiently they communicate and whether you get along on a personal basis.
Another great option is to have your top candidates do a paid trial job. While this costs you more upfront, you’ll be able to directly evaluate the quality of their output, and how pleasant they are to work with.
The Bottom Line
There is no real way around outsourcing YouTube video creation – at least partly – if you want to be successful on the platform.
Evaluate your own needs and current time management. Then, decide which tasks to outsource for the biggest payoff. As your income grows, you can delegate more and more tasks.
Assembling your team might take some time and effort, but it’s absolutely worth it every step of the way. With the right people, you’ll be able to produce more and better content, and find YouTube success.
Most importantly, though, you’ll be less stressed in the process – and more likely to enjoy the journey!