Tips for How to Start a Video Editing Business (1 Starter’s Guide)

how to start a video editing business

I once read that a good editor is like a midwife. The metaphor obtains  across multiple fields, especially creative ones. Your job as an editor, in any field, is to bring the creativity of others to its fullest life.

Creatives are often visionary, high-level thinkers, and they benefit greatly from having a team member working with them who can keep them on track with details and deadlines. So, if you’ve come looking for information about how to start a video editing business, there are some questions you should ask yourself before you begin:

Am I detail-oriented? Can I set and achieve my own deadlines? Conversely, when others give me deadlines, can I deliver on them? Do I know how to take potentially high-level, disorganized creative vision and turn it into a coherent finished product? Can I quickly learn and seek out new technology as the field continually evolves? Do I enjoy working with a wide range of people and projects?

If you can answer yes to most of these questions, chances are you’re on the right track with your plan to start a video editing business.

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Getting started in this business means evaluating your needs as well as your potential clients’ needs. While it’s important to consider questions like what “problem” you’re solving with your company and how you’ll find referrals and clients, in this post we’ll focus on some more tangible materials that are necessary for starting your own video editing business.

There are many great resources out there for small businesses getting off the ground, both general and specific to video editing. Here are some crucial video editing business ideas you can provide to your clientele:

Of course, many of your first questions will be around what equipment is best. And the answers to those questions depend, in large part, on the nature of your business. Whether or not you need your own camera or recording equipment will vary according to the requests of your clients and the services you’re willing to offer.

But the essentials remain pretty standard across the board. Most video editors I know prefer Macs when it comes to choosing a computer, for the simple reason that Apple products integrate easily with each other and with a majority of video editing software, like Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

External hard drives are also a necessity, since you’ll be dealing with very large files that you want to make extra sure won’t be lost in the case of a computer problem. A couple other basics are really all you need to get up and running, like good quality headphones for editing and the editing software of your choice.  

Storage and access are essential if you’re offering services as a video editing business. Being able to quickly and efficiently share files or rough cuts with your clients is easy with sites like dropbox or google drive, and video platforms like Vimeo give you the option to keep files private but shareable, so you can keep your client updated on the progress of a project.

On a similar note, your own organization goes a long way in your relationship with clients. Labeling files clearly and logically, with project names and your name and any other vital information, and keeping separate folders for components like music and graphics, will be invaluable to the client in the end.

Aside from these basics, there are of course specializations and add-ons you can offer to your video editing customers as you learn new technology. Interactive video is becoming increasingly popular, as are elements like personalization and 360 video.

Personalization software is becoming increasingly accessible and user-friendly. However, because it’s still a cutting-edge technology, if you can offer the ability to personalize videos for clients, you’ll have an advantage over many competitors. Especially if any of your clients are looking for effective video marketing techniques, video personalization will make a compelling addition to their videos.

Final Thoughts

As you learn and grow in your video editing business, a good idea for keeping up-to-date with your technology and your potential clients is to subscribe to industry-relevant newsletters or organizations. You’ll not only stay informed about industry updates, you’ll also get an idea of what your competitors are doing and why, which can help move your own business forward.

Starting your own business will bring challenges, but these takeaways give you a solid starting place to launch from. If you anchor your business in the confidence of your skills and abilities, you’ll be able to grow from there.


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