9 Questions To Help You Choose The Best Video Editor

Are you searching for a video editor to create your eLearning course videos? Do you know how to find the best one? In this article, I’ll show you the 9 questions you should ask every video editor prospect to ensure you get the best possible service.

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How To Choose The Best Video Editor

When creating your eLearning course there often comes a time when you have to outsource video editing. Unfortunately, finding the right video editor can be a daunting task.

I’ve been working as a video creation specialist for over 15 years. In this time, I’ve had many new clients come to me after having encountered countless issues working with previous video editors.

What kind of issues?

I'll highlight some common issues below, using two of my clients as an example.

  • Client 1 - One of the largest publishers of online video courses.
    • They were outsourcing most of their video creation to multiple video editors.
    • They didn’t have consistent and on-time delivery of the videos.
    • The quality of the videos varied dramatically between video editors.
    • They found it difficult to review and give notes on the videos.
    • The video editors were often unresponsive and had bad communication with the client.
    • They needed multiple team members to manage the various video editors.
  • Client 2 - A YouTube wellness video producer.
    • They didn’t have a well defined budget.
    • They didn't know what deliverables to expect.
    • They experienced constant delays and missed deadlines.
    • The quality of the delivered videos was subpar.
    • The video editor was unresponsive and didn’t communicate effectively.

These problems can be very frustrating, especially when you’re trying to stay within a budget and have a tight deadline.

So how do you choose the best video editor that delivers on-time and on-budget without giving you a huge headache?

If you ask these 9 simple questions to your video editor prospects, you’ll have the best chance of picking a winner that won’t let you down.

The 9 Questions To Choose The Best Video Editor

1. Can You Provide Relevant Work Samples?

This seems obvious, still surprisingly, a lot of people don’t ask to see relevant work. Just because an editor has made Facebook Promos doesn’t mean they’ll be able to deliver great quality eLearning course videos in a timely manner.

If they can’t provide relevant samples, you should at least send them a sample of a video you like. Remember, specifically ask your prospective video editors if they can create something similar, including similar video footage, still images, graphics, music, and voiceover.

2. Can You Provide Client Testimonials?

Any experienced video editor should be able to provide at least 3 raving client testimonials. Nowadays, it’s so simple to gather client feedback and display it on a website or LinkedIn profile. Be weary, if you don't see these.

3. Can You Give Me A Specific Budget Breakdown?  

Creating video involves combining many elements into a finished product. All these elements have costs and varying quality levels. These costs should be specified, up front, so that you’re not left with a surprise bill at the end of the project.

Some elements to ask about, does the budget include:

  • Scripting?
  • Royalty free video footage and still images?
  • Bespoke graphics or motion graphics?
  • Music?
  • Voice Over?
  • Publishing the videos?

Lastly, it’s important to have clear payment terms. The industry standard is 50% up front and the rest upon completion of the project.

4. Can You Advise Me On The Filming Process?

This is a crucial but often overlooked question. The more your video editor knows about your shoot, the better prepared they’ll be to work quickly and efficiently.

Don’t be afraid to ask for guidance on video formats, green screen lighting, and audio recording tips.

Remember, your video editor should have extensive experience in this area. Their knowledge can save you time and money. Most importantly, it will help the editing process flow more smoothly and without any technical hitches.

5. Can We Set A Solid Deadline?

Deadlines are extremely important for video editing projects and any great editor will demand to work towards a specific completion date. Be weary of editors that shy away from deadlines!

Deadlines aren’t just for your editor. Ensure that your video review periods are also scheduled and that you stick to these review periods.

If you have 48 hours to give feedback, then do so. Any delay from you will have a knock on effect on the whole project schedule and it will give your video editor the perfect excuse to deliver late.

Lastly, any great editor will give you regular progress reports so that you know exactly what stage the project is at.

6. How Does The Video Review Process Work? 

Reviewing your videos and giving feedback is the most important step in video creation. Great video editors should make this phase as seamless and easy as possible.

Questions to ask:

  • How will they share the draft videos with you?
  • How are you expected to provide notes?

Traditionally, video editing feedback is given in written form and using timecodes to specify the point in the video that you are referencing.

Although effective, this system is time-consuming and can sometimes lead to misunderstandings since you are using words to describe a moving image.

In order to avoid this problem, my team uses a video collaboration platform called Frame.io. This platform has transformed the way we work with clients. It makes it super easy to share the videos and it helps our clients give us feedback in an intuitive way. This platform largely eliminates misunderstanding and helps our video editing team work faster and more efficiently.

Lastly, ask how many revisions are included in the fee. 3 revisions is standard before incurring further charges. Make sure to have this in writing!

7. What Videos Will You Deliver?

Ensure that the final delivery assets are specified in the budget breakdown. Remember that final delivery assets can vary depending on where you’re publishing to - YouTube, Vimeo, an eLearning platform.

Even if you’re downsizing your videos to a lower quality for publishing, ensure that your video editor gives you full resolution versions. These full-res versions will come in handy later on if you need to transcode them into different formats.

We usually deliver Quicktime H.264 files at 20Mbs data rate. These files can be easily transcoded to other formats without losing too much picture and audio quality.

8. How Long Do You Store My Raw Footage?

Just because the video editing project is completed doesn’t mean you won’t need to re-edit parts of it further down the line.

Long-term footage storage can be expensive, but at a minimum, you should request that your editor gives you the video editing project files. You should store these along with the raw footage on your own system.

Great editors should also store and backup the footage on their own systems, if only for a short time.

For example, my team stores the raw footage for 90 days after project completion and we also backup the project files indefinitely.

9. Do You Offer Video Publishing Assistance?

Most great video editors should include this assistance.

Why is this important? Because, if you are like many of our clients, you underestimate the amount of work involved in publishing. Even uploading videos to a relatively simple platform like YouTube requires multiple steps to complete.

You need to upload the videos in a format that is optimized for quality, write a title and a description for the video, choose an engaging thumbnail, and create tags so that the video is easily searchable. Great video editors will have extensive experience with this. Remember, they can do in 5 minutes what would normally take you an hour to do. Take advantage of their expertise!

Final Word

I hope you found this article insightful and will ask these questions next time you’re looking for the best video editor.

If you have any questions or would like some video related advice, please drop me a comment below.

6 Steps For Making An Engaging eLearning Promo Video For Your Course

Are you looking for the best way to promote your eLearning course? There are many marketing tools you can use, but the best way to increase engagement, enrollments, and sales is to create an eLearning promo video.

How To Make An Engaging eLearning Promo Video For Your Course

In my experience as a video creation specialist, an eLearning promo video is the fastest and most impactful way to connect with potential students.

Unfortunately, many online course creators make common mistakes when attempting to create this marketing tool.

In this article I’ll show you how to avoid these mistakes and make an eLearning promo video that increases engagement, enrollments, and sales.

Use this guide for yourself or share it with your video editor.

The Importance Of A Compelling eLearning Promo Video

  • The promo video is a student’s first contact with your course and sets the expectation for what they can achieve with your eLearning offer. If the video is slow and uninspiring, that sentiment will influence their decision to enrol.
  • It can engage the prospective student by clearly showing how their life can improve after completing the course.
  • It can make your course feel exciting and fresh.
  • It can dramatically increase your enrolment rate and sales.
  • It can be easily shared on social media, increasing your exposure.

What Does An Engaging eLearning Promo Video Look Like?   

A great promo video should be short, to the point and be exciting to watch. It should also highlight the main benefits of taking the course.

If you are like most eLearning professionals, you’ve put an enormous amount time and effort into creating your course. You’ve spent hours researching how to best communicate your subject. You’ve paid attention to every detail so that students get the most value from your course.

Making an eLearning promo video is simply the final step in this process.

Putting this video together doesn’t have to be a daunting exercise. If you follow the 6 simple suggestions in this guide, you’ll be able to make a great video that sells.

Now that we understand how important it is to make a compelling promo video, I’ll show you the steps to achieve this. First though, let’s quickly outline some of the most common mistakes you can make when creating your promo.

The 6 Most Common Promo Video Mistakes

  1. You don’t script the video first.
  2. You cover too many details of the course instead of focusing on the one or two major benefits to the student.
  3. You don’t direct the video to the prospective student, and instead focus on how great the teacher or course material is.
  4. You make the video too long and it feels too slow.
  5. You use monotonous voiceover and/or music.
  6. You end without a clear call to action.

The 6 Steps To Creating An eLearning Promo Video That Sells

1. Write A Script.

Writing a script helps you make the video as short as possible while still communicating the most essential information. It also helps you pre-visualize the video footage, still images, or graphics you’ll need to keep the edit feeling dynamic and interesting to the viewer.

A script also lets you structure the video in the most compelling way before investing money and time on video editing.

You should aim for a 500 - 700 word script for 2 - 3 minute video.

How do you create a compelling story structure?

In my opinion, the best way is to use the AIDA formula.

AIDA stands for (A)ttention, (I)nterest, (D)esire, (A)ction. Using this formula makes scripting a simple and efficient process.

Let’s break AIDA down as it applies to a hypothetical UX Design eLearning promo video.

(A)ttention: 

You’ve probably heard it a hundred times: Your audience has a short attention span. That’s why your promo video has to hook potential students in within the first 3 - 5 seconds.

You can achieve this by asking a question that’s of interest to your target audience as I did at the beginning of this article.

The question I ask at the top: “Are you looking for the best way to promote your eLearning course?”, is designed to get my target audience, you, interested.

You can get even better results with this strategy by using striking imagery at the start of the promo video. If possible, use attractive images of people smiling or a simple infographic that shows the benefits of your course.

(I)nterest: 

In this section it’s important to communicate the main benefit of the course. Put yourself in the position of the prospective student. Why would they want to take this course? What problem does your course solve for them? 

You should use proof and concrete examples. If possible, use your best testimonials to highlight the results that previous students have gotten.

Also, it’s important to avoid introducing too many ideas here. For instance, focus on the main highlights of the curriculum without going into the specific details of every module.

Lastly, in order to make this even more persuasive, use imagery that shows the course being used, either with live action footage of students taking the course or with a screen recording of a student interacting with the course.

(D)esire: 

In this section, you should paint a picture of how the student’s life will improve after successfully completing the course.

Will they find it easier to get a higher paying job?

Will they feel more comfortable and confident working on a challenging UX Design project?

Be specific and invite your audience to imagine how it will feel to improve their life and knowledge.

(A)ction: 

Here, it’s important that you end with a clear call to action. Tell the prospective student exactly what they have to do to enrol. Keep it simple and straight-forward. There should only be one option for the student at this point.

For example, “Expand your knowledge now by clicking on the orange button below. The sign up process only takes 30 seconds”.

2. Use Music With A Changing Tempo.

In order to keep a video feeling fresh and exciting, it’s important to avoid monotonous music.

For example, in my promo video, we used music with a strong beat and also a complete pause half-way through the track. These beats help the video flow more dynamically as we were able to cut still images and video footage to the beat.

I can’t over-emphasize the importance of using a changing tempo. Why? Because when we hear the same paced music track for 3 minutes our minds wander more easily, making us feel less connected to the subject being presented.

3. Use Visually Striking Images Or Video Footage.

If you can’t shoot these yourself or your budget is limited, check out Pexels for free photos and video footage.

Remember to keep the video moving, as variety increases engagement. Avoid using shots with long durations where the same video or photo is onscreen for more than 5 seconds.

4. Use Graphics To Reinforce The Main Benefits Of  The Course. 

Graphics are a powerful tool to emphasize the main benefits and the results of enrolling in your course. They also help to keep the video feeling dynamic. Remember, varied visuals make the video interesting and increase engagement.

Graphics can also be used to reinforce an idea spoken in the voice-over.

5. Use Faster Paced Voiceover.

If you use voiceover in your video, you should treat it similarly to the music. If you want to compel students to enroll then the voice should sound powerful and full of emotion. Don’t use a monotonous sounding voice.

Lastly, aim for a voice pace that is around 10% faster than you would use in the actual course.

6. End The Video With A Clear Call To Action.

Make sure you end your video with a clear call to action. Don’t distract or confuse your audience with multiple steps or actions.

Focus only on the 1 action that takes them to the next step of the process, to the purchase or enrolment.If you want to make the CTA even stronger, use a sense of urgency and words filled with emotion.

Final Word

I hope you enjoyed this post and will feel more confident next time you or your video editor create an eLearning promo video for your course.

If you have any questions or would like some video related advice, please drop me a comment below and I’ll be happy to help.

How Bidsketch is revolutionising the way I win client bids.

I can’t remember how I discovered Bidsketch. Perhaps it was through my favorite podcast, Mixergy

Regardless, it was about 12 months ago that I first signed up to their newsletter. My video editing business wasn’t ready for their services at that time but I was happy to receive their marketing emails. They were written by Ruben (Bidsketch) and rather than being salesy they were insightful and packed with great information on how to win clients and increase sales. If you’re a small business owner and want to grow your business, I recommend signing up to their email list, even if you don’t want to use their product. 

The emails from Ruben were crucial in keeping Bidsketch top of my mind. At the start of 2017, I decided it was time to expand my business. As you probably know, expansion means finding new clients and finding new clients means submitting a lot of bids.

Before using Bidsketch I would use a Pages template that laid out all the relevant information for the potential client. This served me well but creating a new proposal for each client was time-consuming.

Fast-forward to now and I started using Bidsketch 10 days ago. 

Already, I’ve submitted 4 bids and have had one bid accepted and another bid about to be accepted. The best part is that I created all of these bids in less than 3 hours. That’s record time compared to my previous, Pages workflow.

My bids are video production related and a lot of my clients require similar services. This means I can save a Bidsketch template that works for most of them. I just need to tweak 10% of the bid before submitting it. 

Here is a list of what I love and what I don’t love about Bidsketch:

Love

  • Easy to use interface.
  • Can save my own custom templates or use the many templates that Bidsketch offers.
  • Can easily add a cost breakdown including discounts (Bidsketch sorts out the numbers!)
  • Works in multiple currencies.
  • Can see how clients are interacting with the bid (ie. when they’ve opened it, how long they spent reviewing it.)
  • It’s super easy for a client to accept a bid.
  • Looks and feels much more professional than the traditional email/PDF proposal.

Don’t Love

  • The design of the templates seems a little dated (not very modern looking.)
  • The formatting is sometimes unreliable when copying and pasting text within the editing interface. This means I have to spend more time to fix formatting.

My overall experience with Bidsketch has been great! It saves me time and is helping me make more money. Most importantly, it helps my company maintain the professionalism expected from a high-end video creation company. 

A Promo Video That Sells

Do you have an eLearning course, business or product that you want to promote?

Are you stuck, not knowing where to start?

When it comes to Promo Videos, I see a lot of companies make the same mistakes. Unfortunately, these mistakes can be costly and limit the success of their campaigns.

What are the major Promo Video mistakes that I regularly see?

  1. Monotonous videos that aren't engaging.
  2. Focussing mainly on how great their business or product is.
  3. Not focussing on how the viewer will benefit. 
  4. Trying to explain every aspect of their product or service.
  5. Not having a strong call to action at the end of the video.

So what does a better, more impactful Promo Video look like?

I created the above Promo Video for one of my video editing classes. It has helped me get over 1100 student sign-ups on Skillshare.

Why?

It’s engaging and fast paced, making the class feel exciting. It also clearly outlines what the student will learn and how they can apply the knowledge in real life. Lastly, it closes with a strong call to action. 

Have watch and drop me a comment below to tell me what you think.

In my next post I’ll show you the steps to creating the best and most engaging Promo Video for your service or product.