How to become a successful freelance video editor: Guide for Beginners

Video editing is a very exciting and interesting profession, especially if you’re a freelancer. You get to work with clients from all over the world, and basically – sky’s the limit for job opportunities and career advances. One of the biggest advantages in the freelance world, is that you’re your own boss and nobody can take that away. But, how can you become a successful freelance video editor? In this guide, I’m going to cover all the important things that you need to know – starting from skills and duties of video editor, all the way to places where you can get started.

Freelance Video Editing 101

Video editors edit videos – it’s as simple as that. But what does it takes to be a successful in this field? What skills do you need to possess in order to get jobs? How about duties and responsibilities? Let’s find out!


This goes without saying, but you need to be really, really prepared, before you start working as a freelance video editor. Watching a few tutorials and reading few books isn’t going to cut it. Before you start charging for your services, you need to show a decent level of expertise. Here are some skills that are considered as important:

  • Solid working knowledge with video editing software
  • Eye for details
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Critical thinking
  • Complete dedication on the projects
  • Flexibility

Remember: you’re always one interview away from getting your hands on the project files and showing how skilled you are – so be ready when that time comes!


As a video editor, you’re probably going to have different responsibilities. These tasks differ from job to job, but here are a few – just so you have a general idea:

  • Cropping scenes from footages
  • Creating a sequences of video and audio files that shape the movie
  • Tweaking videos and experimenting to get the best possible outcome
  • Designing graphics elements
  • Taking feedback from your project leaders or supervisor and making modifications

Required Equipment

successful freelance video editor

Image by: Agora Leercentrum (via Flickr)

Being a freelancer doesn’t mean that you have to buy an entire studio worth thousands of dollars of equipment and work alone from home. But you’re going to need a couple of things. Basically, a powerful PC or laptop is a must, with lots of storage units (preferably SSD) and editing software – depending on the work you do. Note that many video editors are using dual or even triple monitor setup to extend their workspace. Besides that, it’s nice to have high quality speakers and a set of good headphones – but this isn’t as important as the software and hardware on your machine.

Finding work

successful freelance video editor

Image by: Joe the Goat Farmer (via Flickr)

Now, let’s assume you’re ready to start working. Where can you find freelance video editor jobs? Here are two types of workspace environments:

  • Freelance platforms that specialize in video editing, like Valoso.
  • Freelance platforms that cover all types of services including video editing, like Upwork and Fiverr.

Let’s find out what is the main difference between these two types and which one should you go for.

Working at platforms like Valoso

If you decide to register as a freelance video editor at Valoso for example, the advantage is that you’re working on a platform that exclusively offers video editing services to clients. This gives you the chance to be a part of community that’s all about video editing and full with professionals. And, it is a great place to make more money – especially if you’re somewhat experienced video editor.

Working at platforms like Upwork and Fiverr

Freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr are full with people just like you – still new at their profession, but are prepared to learn and succeed. In places like this, you’ll make less money (which shouldn’t concern you at the beginning), but you will have a slightly bigger chance to get hired and stand out.

Your choice is based on the type of working environment you’d want to be a part of. As a beginner, you should focus on learning new things and gaining experience in the field rather than on how much money you make.

Tips for Becoming a Successful Freelance Video Editor

Here are few useful tips that will help you to be successful and leave great first impressions:

  • Wherever you register – fully complete your profile
  • Create a portfolio of work examples that illustrate your video editing skills
  • Write detailed and engaging job proposals
  • Communication with your clients is the key
  • Don’t be afraid to ask your client tons of questions
  • Be flexible on jobs you take at the beginning
  • Work fast and meet deadlines!
  • Make sure you have enough storage, and always backup your data
  • As you gain experience and skills, raise your rates (because no one else is going to.)

Featured Image Credit: Miki Yoshihito (via Flickr)