While freelancing might not be the easiest road to take, it still has plenty of advantages, one of them is that you’re your own boss.
I have been freelancing for a bit more than a decade now, either for various production companies or purely online, but in the last 3 years I switched completely to online freelancing and never looked back. My main platform of choice is Upwork although after working long enough you develop a relationship with your clients and platform may be not needed at all.
Working as a freelance video editor requires dedication, but it’s also a guaranteed way to make good money if you want to. You don’t even have to be a professional to get started. All you need is a little bit of training and adequate software, then you’re good to go. You will be training on the job, learning as you go.
There are dozens of websites dedicated to online work. However, if you’re still a beginner, it might be safer to avoid the websites that already feature hardened professionals in the industry.
This is how you can make money video editing!
Making Money Video Editing: My Top Website Picks for Beginners
There are plenty of websites out there that offer freelancing services. The trick here is to pick the best website that’ll match your skillset the most. For instance, a website like Behance works wonders for known artists.
It’s a good platform for people who already have their loyal customers and who wish to display their work for a wider audience. This won’t work if you’re still taking your very first steps into the freelancing world.
Upwork is the most popular website dedicated to freelancers. It’s also renowned for its video editing jobs. It came into prominence a couple of years back, and it has been booming ever since. It also has been my platform of choice for the past few years. And although I have my stable list of clients that I work with outside any platforms, In the last year, I made around $40,000 by working part-time on Upwork, and I can see how someone who wants to work only on this platform can make a decent income.
You might find people of all nationalities coming together to find freelance jobs on Upwork. There are millions of tasks and jobs advertised on Upwork each year, which offers you a broad opportunity for exposure and getting work.
In Upwork, you’ll be competing with other video editors up for the task. So bear in mind that clients often take some things in perspective when choosing their freelancer, these include:
- Your portfolio
- Your rating
- Feedback from your previous tasks
- Your fee.
Since Upwork is available globally, it has many ways to pay its freelancers. The most popular method is Paypal.
Upwork charges 20% per task/project. Meaning, if you made, say $20, they would deduct $4 as a fee.
(the fee changes according to your lifetime billings with each client: 10% for lifetime billings with the client between $500.01 and $10,000 and 5% for lifetime billings with the client that exceed $10,000)
Fiverr is an independent online marketplace. Established in 2010 and based in Jerusalem, the company offers freelancers a platform to work with customers worldwide.
The website opened in early 2010, with more than 1.3 million Gigs hosted by 2012. Since 2011, the volume of transactions on the site has increased by 600%.
Furthermore, since the beginning of 2013, Fiverr.com has been among the top 100 most popular pages in the United States and the top 200 in the world. Fiverr acquired the VeedMe platform for content production in 2017.
Prices start at 5 dollars and could reach 1000 dollars. All of this depends on the expertise of the videographer and his/her work. The videographers determine and list their fees on their profile.
You will get a strong ranking and more business. That all depends on whether the customers’ expectations are met or surpassed.
Clients often pay in advance for Fiverr. You will receive 80 % of the total order value when the order is delivered and finalized successfully. For instance, you receive $8 for a completed order if you priced your service $10.
Freelancer.com is among the biggest decentralized and crowdsourcing market in the world. They are networked with more than 45 million employers and freelancers from more than 247 countries.
Employers can recruit freelancers in areas such as software development, writing, information entry, and design. In addition to engineering, science, sales & marketing, accounting, and legal services.
Freelancer gets a 10 percent fee, with a paid monthly membership fee of at least $5. Moreover, you have to put forward your best foot and write the best pitch possible for a community like Freelancer.
Here’s a pro tip: Let the customers know that you understand their brief. Tell them why for this job you are the best person. It’s more effective to write a new cover letter for each project than to use the same one!
One of another platforms that’s a good place for beginners is ViEdit. It’s an amazing platform for video freelancers of any level. They hire a variety of different professions; from editors to animators to videographers.
Freelancers can display their work, ranging from social media clips, home videos, short movies, and many other media to showcase their work.
The way it works is, a client will propose a certain project and he’ll advertise it on the platform. Freelancers will then be able to view the project’s description and specifications and would send their proposal for it.
The client will then review the proposals, and if he picks you, then he’ll pay the fee you decide to the company. Once you finish the project and the client accepts it, ViEdit will send you the payment.
ViEdit operates in over 100 countries, therefore they have all payment options available. It won’t be such a hassle finding one that suits you. Once you receive your money from the client, the company automatically deducts from 5 to15% of the total payment as a fee for the company.
PeoplePerHour is another very popular platform. In fact, it has been reported that freelancers earned more than $130 Million using that platform.
About 1 million businesses use PeoplePerHour, and it has about 2.4 million available freelancers. With PeoplePerHur, you’ll be able to display your experience, show off your skill, and attach a portfolio.
This is how it works: You’ll start by browsing the available jobs under the Video editing category. Choose a job or two, and express interest in the said jobs. Wait for the client to send you an invite, then send a proposal for the project.
If accepted, it’s yours and you can then start working!
The good thing about PeoplePerHour is that it has a wide range of categories. You’ll easily find your area of expertise and from it, you’ll be able to build a clientele.
Tips on How to Successfully Freelance
Each industry can be tricky to get into at first. One must know exactly what he’s in for, or what he might be up against. Learning a few tips on how to be successful can be pretty rewarding and will help anyone in the long run.
Have a Good Editing Roll or Job Samples
You will need to have a portfolio when you apply for jobs. These might include:
- A few good short edits
- A compilation of various edited segments you’ve worked on.
It helps to have any completed video cuts to show, but the trick is to send out the edit that’s just like the editing that your future client wants.
Have a Service for File Sharing Ready
Good producers usually have a file transfer service installed, but if they don’t, you may also need to offer a solution. In the past, apps like Google Drive or Box.com have been life-savers when mishaps happened.
These apps offer free services and are enough to get the job done. In addition to other features, you can use your own FTP server for your website and services such as Nimia.com. They also offer file transfers and chat capabilities.
Always Work Fast
Companies have plenty of options for video editors. You must make it as easy as possible for them to work with someone remotely and make a quick changeover possible. This can mean working the night to cut them roughly the next morning.
If, for instance, you’re two hours behind the eastern side, try to get up early to finish a rough cut. So you can send it to the client as early as possible.
Working fast and sending out the work before deadlines is a very good way to get recommended for future work. It also helps in building a stellar reputation.
Another thing that you can use to speed up your process is by using stock footage, stock motion graphics sites for your projects. There is plenty of good and sometimes amazing footage that can be used in any sort of project, here are some of the best sites(7 Best and Totally Free Stock Footage Sites)
If for any reason you can’t find what you are looking for there and you have a budget to spend, there are always paid sites with stock footage
Track Your Time
From personal experience, I’d use the timer or the stopwatch available on my phone. It’s designed to work as a kind of a punch-clock. This can be helpful if you were billing per hour.
Plenty of apps will do the trick for your laptop and mobile, there’s absolutely no reason for not controlling your time. You will check correctly, but also gain an idea of how long it takes for you to make changes and that will help you better quote jobs in the future.
Some of the platforms(like Upwork) offer their own apps for desktop that track hours for you and keep in constant communication with the client.
Label And Check Everything Up To The Last Dot
You probably already do this if you’re a good editor. Your client sends you the files/footage, you’ll be working with, you then will create a folder with your name, date and the name of the project.
Inside it, mark subfolders separating them into:
- Music files
- Graphics files
- Project files
- Miscellaneous files
- Footage files
Doing this will help keep things clean and organized for the guy who opens this up on the client’s end.(if clients do want the all of the files, cause more often, clients just want the finished product/video delivered) but it’s always a good idea to properly label everything you do.
You wouldn’t want your customers to get confused when viewing the files on the hard drive. So, always label and be organized when submitting the project you were assigned.
How Much Money Can You Make Video Editing?
Film and video editors average $86,830 per year, as released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. But this number is mostly for Video Editors working for a steady paycheck in production companies. In freelance world it may vary wildly depending on your skills and time.
The salary starts at $31,940, for newbies, while the best ones make up $170,040.
The typical hourly rate ranges from $15.36 to $81.75 depending upon whether an amateur or a professional is engaged in this process.
For basic edits, beginners can charge between $20 and $45 per hour. Advanced video editors with an advanced portfolio can charge $45 to more than $100 an hour. This depends on whether the editing process is complex.
Making money from the comfort of your own home has never been easier. All it takes is some patience and some tips and tricks, like the ones I provided above, to get started.
Freelancing is a convenient way to earn money since you’re working at your own pace and you’re free to work wherever you want.
Just look for the right job that matches your needs, and put that mind to work!