Effective Strategies for Setting Your Video Editing Rates
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Evaluate your skills and experience
  2. Analyze the market
  3. Consider the project scope
  4. Choose a pricing model
  5. Negotiate with clients
  6. Keep track of your time
  7. Review and adjust rates periodically

Wondering how much you should charge for video editing? You're in the right place. In this blog, we're going to tackle exactly that, giving you the tools, tips, and strategies you need to set your rates confidently. So, let's get started, shall we?

Evaluate Your Skills and Experience

First things first: let's talk about you and your skills. Knowing where you stand in terms of skills and experience is a critical first step in setting your video editing rates. To start, you'll want to take a good look at three key areas:

  • Expertise: How well do you know your way around video editing software? Are you a master of Adobe Premiere Pro, or are you still learning the ropes? The higher your expertise level, the more you can justify charging for your services.
  • Experience: How much hands-on experience do you have with video editing? Have you edited a few clips for your friends or have you been in the video editing game for years? As you gain more experience, you can start to charge more for your work.
  • Portfolio: What kind of work have you done so far? Do you have a portfolio that showcases your best work? A strong portfolio can be a great selling point when negotiating your rates with clients.

In sum: the more skilled and experienced you are, the more you can charge for your video editing services. So, take a good look at where you stand. And remember: everyone starts somewhere. If you're just getting started, don't sweat it. With time and practice, you'll grow your skills, gain experience, and be able to charge more for your work. Onwards and upwards, right?

Analyze the Market

Once you've evaluated your skills and experience, it's time to step outside your bubble and take a look at the market. What are other video editors charging? What's the going rate for video editing in your area, or in your niche?

You see, understanding the market rates can provide you with a ballpark figure to start setting your own rates. Here's how you can do that:

  1. Research: Use the internet to gather information about the current market rates. There are many online platforms, like Upwork or Fiverr, where you can check what other video editors are charging for similar services.
  2. Network: Connect with other video editors in your area or niche. Networking is not only about getting more work—it's also about understanding your industry better. You can gain valuable insights about pricing from your peers.
  3. Factor in the Cost of Living: If you live in an area with a higher cost of living, like New York or London, you'll need to charge more to cover your costs. So, while you're doing your market research, don't forget to factor in the cost of living.

Remember, though, that while market rates can give you a starting point, they shouldn't be the only factor in setting your rates. Why? Because you're not just any video editor—you're you. And that means you bring unique skills, experiences, and creativity to the table. So, while it's important to know what the market looks like, remember that your value goes beyond just market rates.

Consider the Project Scope

After understanding what the market is offering, the next step is to look at the specific project you're working on. The scope of a project can vary widely and so should your rates. If you're asked, "how much should I charge for video editing?", there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on the project.

So, what does "project scope" mean, exactly? Let's break it down:

  1. Project Length: A 30-second commercial will take less time to edit than a two-hour documentary. So, naturally, the longer the video, the more you should charge.
  2. Complexity of Edits: Not all edits are created equal. Some videos may require basic cuts and transitions while others might need advanced effects, color grading, or sound design. The more complex the edits, the higher your rate should be.
  3. Client Expectations: Some clients are easy to work with; they give you creative freedom and require minimal revisions. Others may require constant changes or have specific, detailed requests. Remember, your time is valuable, so if a project requires more of it, your rates should reflect that.

Considering the project scope helps you tailor your rates to each job, ensuring you're compensated fairly for your work. So, the next time you’re asked "how much should I charge for video editing?", consider the scope of the work involved— it’s a surefire way to avoid underpricing your services.

Choose a Pricing Model

Now that we've covered how to evaluate your skills, experience, and the project scope, let's dive into selecting a pricing model for your video editing services. When you're trying to answer the question, "how much should I charge for video editing?", your pricing model can make all the difference.

There are primarily three pricing models to consider:

  1. Hourly Rate: In this model, you charge for every hour spent on the project. This is great for unpredictable projects where the workload can vary. Just be sure to track your time carefully!
  2. Project-Based Rate: Instead of charging by the hour, you can charge a flat fee for the entire project. This method works best when you can accurately estimate how much time and effort the project will require.
  3. Retainer Model: A retainer is a pre-paid agreement where the client pays up front for a certain number of hours each month. This model creates a steady income and builds long-term client relationships. However, it requires careful management to ensure you deliver the agreed-upon work within the allotted hours.

Each of these models has its own benefits and challenges. The trick is to choose the one that best suits your workflow and the project at hand. Ultimately, the right pricing model will help you answer the question: "how much should I charge for video editing?" with confidence and clarity.

Negotiate with Clients

So, you've evaluated your skills, analyzed the market, considered the project scope, and chosen your pricing model. What's next? It's time to negotiate with your clients. But how do you navigate this potentially tricky conversation, especially when you're still wondering, "how much should I charge for video editing?"

Firstly, remember that negotiation is a two-way street. It's about finding a rate that's fair for both you and your client. Here are a few strategies to keep in mind:

  1. Be Transparent: Honesty is the best policy. Be upfront about your rates and explain how you arrived at them. This helps the client understand the value they're getting from your services.
  2. Highlight Your Value: Showcase your skills, experience, and the quality of your work. The better the client understands what you bring to the table, the more willing they are to pay your rates.
  3. Stay Firm, But Flexible: If a client isn't willing to meet your rates, don't be afraid to walk away. But also, consider if there's room for compromise. For instance, could you offer a slightly lower rate for a longer-term contract?

Remember, the goal isn't just to get the job, but to establish a professional relationship that values your work appropriately. By negotiating effectively, you can ensure that you're answering "how much should I charge for video editing?" in a way that respects your worth and satisfies your clients.

Keep Track of Your Time

After you've settled on a rate and started working on a project, one of the best things you can do is keep a close eye on your time. Why is this important, you ask? Well, it can help you answer that age-old question, "how much should I charge for video editing?".

By tracking your time, you'll begin to get a clearer picture of how long it takes you to complete different types of projects. This information is golden. It helps you estimate future projects more accurately and can even give you leverage when negotiating rates with clients.

Here are a few tips to make tracking your time a breeze:

  1. Use a Time-Tracking App: There are plenty of time-tracking apps out there. These tools can help you log hours, track breaks, and even generate reports. Just remember to start the timer before you dive into your work!
  2. Note Start and End Times: If apps aren't your thing, you can always go old-school. Jot down when you start and finish each task or project. It's simple, but it works.
  3. Don't Forget Admin Tasks: Editing is just one part of the job. Don't forget to account for the time you spend on emails, calls, research, and other administrative tasks. These hours count too!

With a record of how you're spending your time, you'll be better equipped to answer "how much should I charge for video editing?" in a way that truly reflects the effort you put into your work. And who knows? You might even find ways to work more efficiently in the process.

Review and Adjust Rates Periodically

Just like a car needs a tune-up every now and then, your video editing rates may need some adjustments over time. This doesn't mean you're doing something wrong. It's just part of the process. Regular reviews can help you ensure you're getting paid what you're worth and that your rates reflect your growing skills and experience.

Here's a handy roadmap to guide you:

  1. Set a Review Schedule: Don't leave it to chance. Decide how often you'll review your rates. It could be every three months, every six months, or every year. The key is consistency.
  2. Look at Your Time Logs: Remember when we talked about tracking your time? Here's where it pays off. By checking how long you're spending on projects, you can see if you're charging enough or if you need to adjust your rates.
  3. Factor in Skill Improvements: As you become a better video editor, your rates should reflect that. If you've learned new techniques or invested in better equipment, these should be part of your rate consideration.
  4. Review Your Expenses: If your costs have gone up, it might be time to raise your rates. This could be anything from software subscriptions to the cost of electricity. It's all part of doing business.

By reviewing and adjusting your rates periodically, you can ensure that you're not undervaluing your work. It also helps answer that ongoing question, "how much should I charge for video editing?" with confidence and clarity. Remember, your skills and time are valuable. Don't sell yourself short!

If you're looking to improve your video editing skills and learn how to set your rates effectively, check out Ansh Mehra's workshop, 'Editing Workflow for YouTube Videos.' This workshop is a valuable resource for video editors aiming to enhance their editing techniques and better understand how to price their services.