Do you want to turn your video editing skills into a profitable freelance business? If so, there’s good news. In this increasingly digital world, video editors are always in demand. Plus, the job is flexible and you can start it from home. 

But if you’re not sure how to make it happen, we can help. 

This guide explains how to be a freelance video editor, including:

  • Getting the right equipment 
  • Developing your skills
  • Refining your services
  • Registering your business 
  • Marketing yourself to clients
  • Organising your finances 

What you’ll need to be a freelance video editor

Freelance video editors can create clean and professional visual products for clients. But, it’s important to have the right equipment and skills to get the job done. Let’s go over what you might need. 

Getting the right equipment 

Freelance video editing takes a bit of investment to get you on your feet. To edit videos professionally, you’ll need sufficient tools and equipment, which can come with high overhead costs. 

Here are a few things you’ll likely need: 

  • High-speed and high-resolution computer – preferably with random process memory (RAM) and central processing unit (CPU)
  • Cloud storage or an external hard drive – to hold client files
  • High-performance headphones – find a range of options here.
  • Video editing software – such as Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro

When weighing your choices, think about renting equipment or trying free trials before going all in. You can choose the best fit for you and save money as you find your first clients. 

Developing your skills and knowledge

Even the best equipment won’t get you anywhere without the right skills. So, you must know video editing well, including visuals, trimming, and audio. To gain the right experience, consider taking a course in the field.

Find some relevant courses on platforms like Udemy or Reed Courses. Alternatively, you could take a short course at the University of Arts London

You’ll also need to know how to use your particular software and equipment in depth. 

If you plan to use Adobe Premiere, for example, you may want to take a course that focuses on how to use that software. You might also search for a tutorial offered by Adobe. 

Conducting market research 

Before entering the video editing industry, it’s important to research the market. Doing so provides you with the proper knowledge to succeed. 

Research can show what services, skills, and techniques are most in-demand and what challenges you’ll need to overcome. With this knowledge, you can decide who you want to work with and design a freelance career that thrives.

How to be a freelance video editor

Once you have everything you need to be a freelance video editor, you can set up your business. We’ll cover the key steps of turning your skills into profits.

Refining your services

To get started, determine which services you’ll provide as a video editor. You may offer a range of editing or focus on sound, visuals, or video length.

Then, consider a genre or niche you want to focus on. For example, you might edit the following:

  • Social media videos
  • Youtube or vlog content 
  • Long-form film or documentaries 
  • Advertisements or marketing materials 

You can establish your rates by looking at what similar freelancers charge. Also, think about how much you’ll spend on your business and how much you’ll need to profit. 

Lastly, who do you want to work with? This question can define your target audience. For example, you could focus on editing videos for influencers. Otherwise, you might target advertising agencies that hire freelancers.

Registering your business

To turn your freelance services into a legal entity, register as a sole trader with the UK Government. Sole traders own their business and remain legally responsible for it. Meanwhile, they retain all profits post taxes. 

With that in mind, you’ll submit a Self Assessment tax return when it’s time to report your earnings for taxes.

Marketing yourself to clients 

As a sole trader, the amount that you earn depends on how many clients you work with. So, it’s crucial to market yourself to find earning opportunities.  

Build a professional brand

Marketing starts with how you present yourself to the public, or your brand. Brands use colour, tone, and core values to create an identity for a business. When done well, this brand can help you reach your target audience. 

To learn more, check out our article on how to build a brand for your business

Create a business website

Your website acts as the digital headquarters for your business. It holds all the essential information, such as: 

  • Your business story and qualifications
  • Your services and prices 
  • Your portfolio or collected best work
  • Your contact information 
  • Positive client testimonials 

You can build a website using a tool like Squarespace or WordPress and design it to match your brand. 

Top tip: To increase traffic to your site, also try promoting your services on social media. Learn more here: how to use social media for business

List yourself on freelance sites 

Listing yourself on freelance websites is another great way to earn clients. This approach lets you access an established audience and reach people searching for your services.  

Here are a few platforms to consider: 

Organise your finances 

It’s essential to organise your freelance finances as you bring in clients. So, you’ll need the right tool to simplify and streamline the process, like Countingup. 

Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app. It automates time-consuming bookkeeping admin for thousands of self-employed people across the UK. 

This app helps you stay on top of your self employed finances with:

  • Automatic expense categorisation and receipt capture 
  • Year-round tax estimates
  • Unlimited invoicing on the go 
  • Ongoing cash flow insights 

Save yourself hours of accounting admin so you can focus on growing your business. 

Start your three-month free trial today

Prepare for success in your video editing freelance career

Now that you know how to be a freelance video editor, you can use this guide to transform your business idea into reality. Soon, you’ll create great video content for your clients. 

Just remember you’ll need: 

  • The right equipment and skills 
  • Sufficient market knowledge 
  • Niche services to reach your audience 
  • A legal business structure 
  • Strong marketing to earn clients 
  • Finances organised for success

To prepare for your freelance career, next you may want to check out our article on common freelancer challenges and how to overcome them