Hiring Video Editors: In-house, Freelance, or Agency

So you need a video editor, but aren’t sure where’s the best place to find one and how you pay them.

Do you hire a full time employee off of your local newspaper or jobs site?  

Do you hire a freelancer from Upwork or Fiverr?

Do you engage an Agency to handle the process for you?

There’s pros and cons to each.

In-house video editor

This is great if you can get a local hire and combine the skill of videography.  The actual camera work isn’t going to be something you’d be able to get done with a remote worker.  

Cons can be pricing of a full time employee.  The BLS shows full time video and camera operators average $60,000 per year.  

You’d also be on the hook for payroll taxes which can be around 30% depending on your state and municipality.

Freelance video editors

This is a good if you have an occasional project and don’t need ongoing work.  

The cons are you don’t build up a relationship with a specific person as they may take on other clients if not on a retainer with you.

Agency

The main advantages to agency are scale and curation.

Let’s talk about scale.  You may only need a few videos per month.  By paying a monthly retainer you insure consistent quality on all your videos and save yourself the time involved in contractor selection on each project.

You can start with a fractional video editor working up to 2 hours per day for as little as $595 per month.  As your needs grow an agency can scale your production from this fractional editor all the way up to multiple full time editors.

Another aspect is curation. You can hire a skilled video editor directly, but unless you have many years experience you may not know what to look for in an employee.  Check out our post on How to hire video editors.  An agency’s sole business is finding and training capable editors.

So the only con here is the added cost of using an agency vs going directly to the fulfillment.  Expect to pay a 3-5x markup vs going direct.  The agency is handling tax compliance, vacation days, and other fringe benefits workers expect with longer term engagements.  This along with the benefits of scale and curation make the added costs an easy decision for some business owners.