Virtual Assistants

Outsourcing Video Editing: An Ultimate Guide for Small Business Owners

outsourcing video editing

Want to know how to go about outsourcing video editing?

In this post we’ll go through the benefits and challenges of outsourcing and what the process might look like for you.

What is Video Editing?

Editing is the process of manipulating video footage to achieve a specified goal. This involves combining clips together, adding effects and transitions, and even doing audio editing like including sound effects and music.

We apply video editing when creating videos for personal use, online content, advertising, and movies and TV shows. 

Benefits of Outsourcing Video Editing


Editing takes a lot of time. One video can become an entire day’s work. Not everyone has the time to learn to edit. This is why handing the project over to a third party can save you many hours. 


Video editing is not cheap. Hiring a full-time or part-time in-house editor will cost you a pretty penny. On the other hand, outsourcing means you can hire when you need it and only pay for the minutes and hours they actually work on the project. You also don’t have to worry about paying additional worker benefits. 

Access to Software and Tools

Editors typically purchase their own video editing tool subscriptions. When you hire an editor, you are also technically renting their editing software. 

Experience and Expertise 

Freelance video editors have the experience that allows them to efficiently deliver your video while maintaining quality. Their skill sets have taken years to hone and with that comes valuable expertise to bring your vision to life. 

Wide Talent Pool

If you hire locally, you have a limited talent pool to choose from. Choosing outsourcing allows you to look at a wider selection of editors with a broader range of editing styles. 

Challenges of Outsourcing Video Editing

outsourcing video editing

Communication Barriers

When hiring from other countries, there can be certain language and cultural barriers that hamper effective communication. Also, time zones may affect deadlines. 

Consistency Issues

There is no guarantee that a freelancer whom you worked with on one project will be available when you need them for another. Working with multiple different editors could lead to quality consistency issues. 

Onboarding Different People

You also have to consider the amount of time it would take to onboard new freelancers for each project. You may have to go through the hiring process multiple times. 


The benefit of in-house editing is the fact that you have unlimited revisions and can oversee the editing process from start to finish. This is not so with outsourcing. You get a limited number of revisions and less control and oversight over the process. 

Finding Freelance Video Editors

Video plays a very important role in the world of marketing. Because most internet traffic is video traffic, advertising and marketing teams make video a key priority in their strategies. As such, the demand for competent video editors is high. 

This means that you won’t have much trouble looking for video editors online through freelance marketplaces or other job sites. 

To name a few you have sites like Upwork or FreeUp can help you with long-term hires. Fiverr and VideoHusky are great for one-off projects. Backstage focuses more on TV and film editors. 

However, with the saturation of video editors comes a new problem. How can you narrow down the list of candidates and find the best fit for you? 

Assessing Your Candidates

On your video editing outsourcing journey, there are 5 areas we believe you should focus on. 

English Proficiency

The ability to convey your ideas clearly, especially when it comes to something as creatively charged as video editing, is crucial. This becomes instrumentally more challenging if you don’t speak the same language. This is something you assess during the initial interview. You can also get a general idea of their proficiency based on how they market themselves on job websites. 

Technology Capacity

Here are some valuable questions to consider:

  • Do they use software you use or want them to use? 
  • Do they have their own subscription or do you have to purchase it for them? 
  • Are you looking for someone with basic skills in that software or a greater proficiency? 

Rate Flexibility 

Does the person you are hiring offer different rates depending on the complexity of the job or not? 

A person with 10 years of Adobe Premiere Pro experience might sound great on paper. However, if they are charging an invariable rate, no matter the simplicity of the task, you may not be spending your dollars efficiently. 

Skills and Experience

Editing is a broad term encompassing a number of skills. It’s important to know the specific kinds of skills you want for your project before you start to look for potential candidates. 

For instance, consider sound editing in videos. Not every video editor knows how to mix sound. Some editors are specifically skilled in color grading. Some are good at editing live-action while others focus on animation. Even then, specific editors have different styles. 

You should also consider the industries and types of videos these editors have done in the past. One person might be experienced in cinematic videos, another in instructional videos, and another in animated short stories. This is something to consider because it shows you both their capabilities and their comforts. 

Previous Work and Test Project

Similar outsourcing graphic design projects, you should also request to view your video editing candidates’ portfolios. This gives you an idea of the kind of work they can do. 

Setting up a test project can also help you gauge their abilities further.

Here you can assess:

  • Editing style
  • Speed
  • Skill-level
  • How well they work with a team 
  • How well they understand your vision 
  • Process of edits and revisions 

Paying Your Editor

Note: These depend on the scope of the work and level of skill required.

Hourly Rate

According to Upwork, beginner editors can charge between $25 and $45 dollars. Mid-level video editors charge between $45 and $100. Expert editors for bigger projects can charge $60-$100 and over. 

Fixed Rate

Some video editors opt for pricing per minute of video. This is evident when hiring video editors on Fiverr for example. While the rates vary significantly on this site, you can expect basic to mid-level editing jobs to cost between $15-$30 per minute. This also includes a set number of revisions. 

While less common, some video editors charge per project which can cost a few hundred dollars per video. To make this deal more attractive, some offer more chances for revisions. 

Other Costs to Consider

Not every editor comes with their own software subscription. This is typically the major cost to consider on top of costs related to additional edits or revisions outside the original agreement. 

Finalizing Payment with a Contract

Making a freelance contract is essential to legalize the relationship between both parties. These contracts include the job description, payment terms, and confidentiality agreements. 

Managing Your Editor’s Workflow

You can easily define the scope of work by creating a detailed job description with a list of roles, responsibilities, goals, and objectives. Here are some of the tasks that fall under a video editor’s purview. 

Project Management

Throughout the project, you want to check in on the progress of your editor in real time. You can do this through several project management software like Trello. 

File Transfer and Proxies

Establish how you want files to be sent and stored. You want to make sure that you have backups for your files and that they’re secure. Most people use a shared Google Drive. 

Setting Work Expectations

This is part of the onboarding process. Setting expectations encompasses the work, progress updates, and communication frequency. This also includes setting expectations for work culture and work values during the partnership. 

Submitting Editing Requests

These are editing notes you may have during the editing process and differ from revisions. The editor usually sets deadlines for these requests. Your editor will likely consider a late submission of an editing request as a revision. 

Asking for Revisions and Closing Out Projects

Revisions are after-the-fact changes that you would like the editor to make. In video editing outsourcing, you have a finite amount of times you can request revisions. Once satisfied, you can thank your editor and conclude the project. 

Things to Communicate to Your Video Editor

A Script or Storyboard

You need to give your editor an outline of how your video flows. What are you trying to communicate in your video? What is the narrative structure? Is it an informative video? Is it a vlog? Are you trying to entice viewers to purchase something, or are you trying to tell a story? These are things your editor needs to know because it informs the way he cuts and manipulates footage to achieve your desired end result. 

Branding Guidelines

This is all about communicating your brand identity. This includes your tone, values, and overall brand personality. How do you want your business to be represented? Things like the warmth or coolness of the color grading and the type of music and effects used will elicit different feelings in audiences. 

An Example

Explaining your ideas and having an editor know exactly what you want is incredibly rare. This is why a lot of freelancers in the creative fields have certain guidelines for the number of revisions allowed within a payment plan. In order to lessen this, you can give your editors examples of similar videos to draw inspiration from.

A Creative Brief

This is essentially a document that summarizes the goals of a creative project. This includes the core values and messaging of a company, the target audience, deliverables, and timeline. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it cost-effective to outsource video editing?

Yes, it is both cost and time effective.

Do I hire video editors part time or project based?

This all depends on your needs. If you find yourself creating a few videos on a regular basis, hiring a part time VA might suit you better. If you only do videos say once a month, then hiring on a project basis makes more sense financially. 

What is the turnaround time for outsourcing video editing projects?

The general rule of thumb is that videos take about half an hour to an hour of editing per minute of the final project. So, if you need a 10-minute video, expect it to be completed in around 10 hours.

Of course, depending on the complexity of edits, this could take shorter or longer. For instance, it can sometimes take an editing team a year to finish a movie. While you likely may not require that level of editing skill, the point is that editing takes more time than you might think. That is why the ability to edit fast is an asset that you should expect to charge extra for.  

What Is Outsource School?

outsource school

Outsource School helps you to unlock the potential of virtual assistants and accelerate your business growth.

This is the exact system Outsource School’s founders, Nathan Hirsch and Connor Gillivan, used to go from zero to 8 figures and 40+ virtual assistants with an exit in 2019.

Since being founded in 2020, Outsource School has helped 1,000+ business owners hire 2,000+ virtual assistants for their companies.

Schedule a free sales call to learn more

Free resources you might like: 


Investing in video is an intelligent business move, and outsourcing video editing might just be the next smart move you make. While there are a number of challenges to outsourcing, the benefits in terms of cost and time savings just about outweigh them. 

You now have more of a “close up” into and a “higher definition” of the world of video editing. We hope this article has “rendered” you more confident and the future of your business with a clear “resolution”.

On that note, I think it’s time for me to “fade out” of here.