Handing your editing off to a professional video editing company has several benefits. Above all, you can save time and creative energy to spend on other projects – and yourself! – while still making sure you’ll get a quality final video.
However, as video content keeps growing, boosted by the creator economy, more and more video editing companies are out for a piece of the cake. If you’re looking to hire an editor, this can mean a serious headache.
A simple Google search will leave you with several dozen candidates that you’ll have to compare to find the best offer to suit your needs.
So, how do you actually pinpoint the best people for the job? What boxes does a good video editing company have to tick to be worth a closer look?
Here’s your checklist.
First off, experience is key. Make sure that the video editing company you’re looking at is actually experienced at what you want them to do.
Sometimes, giving newcomers a shot is worth the risk. However, when you opt for established professionals, you’ll know you get your money’s worth: a high-quality edit, delivered fast and without problems.
Also keep in mind that not all video editing companies edit the same type of content. For instance, some companies specialize in travel vlogs, while others most work on talking-head clips. Hiring either of these candidates for a video from a different genre can be problematic. It’ll be much harder for them to get the pacing and the tone of the edits right.
But how do you evaluate whether a video editing services has the kind of experience you need?
A good start is to look at previous work on their website and see whether that meets your expectations. You’ll often find demo reels, portfolio pieces and testimonials by happy customers. It’s also a good idea to check out reviews by clients on Google, Yelp, and similar platforms.
If you can’t find any of these, but you still like the look of a company, directly reach out and ask for demo material. If they won’t show you any, though, you might want to steer clear.
A Solid Range of Services
Next, narrow it down based on the services you actually need for your video content.
It’s one thing if you just need jump cuts for your latest vlog. It’s something else entirely if you also want special effects, creative transitions, color adjustments, or animations.
Would you like them to upload the finished product directly to your channel (or channels, if you run multiple ones), too? And do you need someone who’ll take care of thumbnail design for you as well?
Many companies offer all of these services and more, but usually at different pricing tiers. All-inclusive services tend to be part of premium packages, or limited to higher subscription tiers.
In any case, make sure that the video editing companies you’re considering use top-notch software, and can handle 4K quality – even if you don’t think you need that just now. It’s a sign you’re talking to pros, so if it doesn’t say so on their website, ask them about it directly.
The Right Niche
Are you planning a makeup tutorial channel on YouTube? Do you need to put together a short corporate marketing clip? Is your aim to produce a documentary, or an educational explainer video for your latest online course?
Whatever type of video you’re aiming to produce, find a video editing company that specializes in that niche, just like you did for your own content. No matter what sort of video you want to produce, the company you’re looking at should be able to show you some specific samples of similar clips.
Working with a specialist editor who knows your niche makes the entire process a lot smoother. Above all, they’ll already be familiar with your audience’s expectations, trends, and the technical details they need to stick to.
Compare the two videos below, and ask yourself: If you were watching these, would you expect the same editing process for both?
First vid: Music video by Laci Kay Somers. Second: Pay raise negotiation on Heather Austin’s YouTube channel.
Speed That Suits Your Needs
How long does it take to edit a video? Every one one your candidates will have to answer that question, either through their website, or in person.
When looking for a video editing company, make sure their turnaround time suits your creation schedule. Note that turnaround means the time until you get your first draft. For your final, finished video, you’ll almost always need further editing rounds.
Ultimately, editing time depends on the length and quality of your footage, and the complexity of edits. Generally, you could be looking at anything from 48h for short, YouTube-style videos, and two business weeks and up for longer-form, more polished productions.
Note that if a company promises a faster turnaround, that often means a rougher first draft. That’s not a bad thing in itself. Depending on their policy, though, you might only get to request a limited number of (free) revisions.
Admin, Transparency, and Efficiency
Finally, when deciding on your candidates, look beyond the specifics of their actual editing work. They’re effectively a potential business partner. That means it’s pretty important how transparent they are with you and how efficiently they operate:
- Are the full extent and the limitations of their services clearly stated on their website, not buried deep in the fine print?
- Do they respond promptly, fully, and helpfully to all your questions?
- Can they explain their editing process to you?
- And especially: How will they incorporate your revision requests and feedback?
Before making a final decision on which video editing company you want to go for, make sure you get answers to all these questions.
Vet each company’s website carefully and consider reaching out in person to get a better feeling of how forthcoming and helpful each candidate is.
Red Flags to Avoid
Now that you know what boxes a good video editing company should be able to tick, here are a few red flags to watch out for. If you encounter any of them, strike the offender off your list and move on to the next candidate.
To start with, a video editing company’s website ought to look professional. These are tech professionals. They work with complex software and are responsible for transferring, handling, and storing terabytes of data every single month. An outdated or even broken website is a pretty good indicator for a lack of technological competence. Not a good trait in a video editing professional.
Another warning sign to watch out for is pricing that is simply too good to be true. Depending on the complexity of your edits and the length of your source footage, you can expect to pay around $150 – $500 for a finished 5-minute clip. If offers are much lower than that, you’re either looking at a scam, or at a fine print trap that requires you to pay extra for revisions and basic services such as file delivery in different formats.
Finally, one last red flag to avoid is a lack of communication. When you need to reach out to a video editing company for a quote or additional information, they should respond swiftly and thoroughly. Contact information should be easy to find on their website. This is crucial because you’ll have to have in-depth exchanges about your content and creative vision with your editor.
The Bottom Line
It’s worth taking a good look at the different video editing companies that currently offer their services. Don’t just rely on ratings alone – vet them according to your own criteria.
Make sure you find a company that has extensive experience in your niche, offers a solid range of services with a well-paced turnaround time, and operates transparently and efficiently.
There’s no question that this takes some time and effort. But it pays off in the end: You’ll be rewarded with perfectly edited, high-quality videos!
For best results, pick a company whose past work you like, that is quick and forthcoming with answers, is transparent about what’s included and what isn’t, can match your production schedule, and has experience with the kind of video you want.
If an editor can’t or won’t prove their experience to you, buries important limitations and extra charges in the fine print – if mentioning them at all – and takes forever to answer critical questions, then you may want to think twice before signing up for their services.
Lack of experience on the company’s side can cost you money, time, and nerves. They won’t always deliver a bad result, but at the very least it’ll take you a long time to get there. An experienced, professional company makes for a smooth editing journey.