8 Tools Every Video Freelancer Needs
As a video professional, jumping into the world of freelance can be quite daunting. As a video freelancer as you’ll suddenly be responsible for finding your own clients, managing your own workload, and even handling your small business finances. There’s plenty of work out there, though, so you don’t have to worry as long as you’re organized, determined, and have the right tools at your disposal.
Here, we’re going to outline which tools you’ll need to have in your arsenal if you want to give yourself the best chance of thriving as a video freelancer.
File Transfer Software
When you’re working on freelance video projects, you’ll need to send RAW footage, drafts, and final cuts to your clients or team members. So, to make this possible and ensure you retain the quality of your videos, you’ll need to use specialized file transfer software that helps with this.
MASV is the ideal option for a video freelancer who frequently needs to send large files to clients or colleagues. You can use their clean and simple interface to send files of any size, and you can rest assured that your projects will be safe and secure. They offer a stress-free experience that provides all of the features you’ll need to handle large files with ease, and you can even send 100GB for free to try before you buy.
MASV is also a particularly great option for freelancers, as it allows you to pay as you go, which will save you money in quiet months when you don’t have as much work coming in. As a freelancer, you might find that projects come in waves, so not having to pay a monthly subscription fee can be very helpful.
Cloud and Physical Storage
As a video freelancer, you’ll need to be able to store a lot of footage and accompanying source files. It’s best to use a combination of physical storage, like hard drives and SSDs, and cloud storage. It’s also a good idea to have multiple copies of your projects stored in different ways to reduce the risk of you losing anything important — the 3-2-1 method is particularly popular among video professionals and involves having at three copies of any data you don’t want to lose. Two should generally be stored on physical devices, and one should be protected in a cloud-based storage solution.
Different storage options serve different purposes. For instance, using physical storage means you can access your files even when there isn’t an internet connection. B&H has a great guide to choosing the best external hard drives for video production that will help you to choose the most suitable solution for your needs. But, there is the possibility of losing or accidentally damaging storage devices like your hard drives or flash drives, so this shouldn’t be your only method of saving your clips and projects for later.
Cloud storage can be a very convenient option that makes it easier for you to access your projects from anywhere and collaborate on team projects. However, there is the fact that you may not be able to access your files without the internet.
So, when choosing your storage methods and the combination that’s going to work best for your needs, you’ll also need to pay close attention to their features and specifications, like their storage space, file size limits, and, in the case of cloud storage, whether or not there is adequate security and password protection for your files.
Professional Invoice Templates
When you work as a freelancer, you’ll need to invoice your clients at the end of each project. So, having a professional-looking invoice template will save you time, make sure that you always have the necessary client details on hand, and it will also show that you’re a true professional.
There are many invoice templates out there, but the one you choose should include all of the relevant fields you can update each time with the likes of your client’s name, the unique invoice number, and your company’s name and address. Other important details include the description of your services, the amount payable, and instructions on how to make payment.
We recommend using an invoice template like the one from FreshBooks because it contains all of these relevant fields and more, so you never have to worry about missing an important detail. It’s free to use and you can simply replicate it each time you need to bill a client for a new project.
Google Docs also provides a simple invoice template that you can customize to suit your needs. While the invoices you can create with this might be simpler and may not be as polished, they’ll certainly get the job done, and having a free option is always a relief when you’re first starting out.
High-Quality Video Editing Software
When you take the leap into freelancing, you’ll need to invest in your own video editing software. It’s likely this is something your previous employers will have paid for, so it’s a business expense you’ll need to budget for.
At least when you’re starting out, it’s likely the price will be your biggest concern when choosing your preferred editing software. So, set a budget that’s going to be manageable for you and start shopping around. You may also want to look out for options that come with a payment plan or a monthly subscription to spread the cost.
Secondly, you’ll need to ensure that whatever editing software you choose is going to be compatible with your working setup. For instance, some options will only be available to Mac users, so you need to research what is going to be available to you. You may also want to go with a company that’s going to be able to provide you with both computer and mobile video editing software, so you can work on your projects both in the office and on the go. Consider what kinds of features are going to best suit the way you work.
Some of the most common editing software options used by video freelancers include Premiere Pro, AVID, Final Cut Pro, and DaVinci Resolve, so take a look at these to see if any of them will work well for your projects.
A Gear Pack Built Around your Equipment
If you’re the type of video freelancer who not only edits footage but also records, you will need to invest in good cameras and sound equipment — as well as quality bags and cases to keep them all safe.
If you use a lot of equipment, you won’t want to risk losing any of the little bits and bobs that come along with that. So, you’ll want to invest in compact bags or cases that will also allow you to safely store smaller items like your memory cards and batteries.
And, if your job requires you to do a lot of on-site shooting, you’ll probably be traveling long distances. This means you can’t just pick any gear pack off the rack — you need to carefully consider bags with padded interiors but hard cases that are scratch-resistant and have a sturdy exterior.
Your cases and bags should also be an investment because they’re going to keep your expensive camera equipment safe. So, don’t just go for the cheapest option. Build your gear pack around your existing equipment, and choose the accessories that are going to help put your mind at ease when you’re working. Digital Camera World has a great guide to picking the best camera backpack that will help to point you in the right direction if you aren’t sure where to start.
As a freelancer, you’ll need to market your own services. And, social media has become one of the most powerful and important tools for doing this. Video freelancers now tend to use a variety of platforms to promote their services like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.
Just remember that, when sharing your work on social media, you’ll need to change the dimensions and specifications for different platforms. For instance, videos uploaded to TikTok need to be a 9×16 vertical format, while Youtube’s standard is 16×9 at 1080p.
These are very important details that you need to keep in mind if you want to get the most out of these platforms. If you need some more information regarding this, you can check out this guide from MASV on the social media video specs for filmmakers and other video professionals.
We would also recommend investing in a social media analytics tool that will help in monitoring your marketing efforts to see what’s working and what isn’t, so you can adjust your strategy accordingly. Before you choose a social media analytics tool, look into which metrics they track. Ideally, you’ll want one that looks at things like your click-through rate, impressions, audience growth rate, and reach.
Also, look out for tools that will integrate with all of the different social media platforms you’ve chosen to use. This will make it easier to monitor all your social media activity in one place.
Look-up table, motion, and sound template services
Look-up table, motion, and sound template services can be lifesavers for video freelancers. A look-up table (LUT) is a digital file that you can use to adjust the color or look of an existing video. You can think of it as a kind of filter and most video editors apply a LUT to alter the look of a raw video.
Motion templates allow you to add special effects, as well as an element of animation, to your videos. And, sound templates let you add sound effects to different kinds of videos. These two templates are very valuable to you as a video freelancer because they can help you make more professional and engaging videos that capture and hold people’s attention to the end.
Before using any of these programs, consider the kind of project you’re working on and its specific requirements. This will guide you in knowing the type of LUT, motion template, or sound template that will give you the desired results that you’re looking for. Also, it’s important to check that the video editing software you use is compatible with the LUTs or templates you want before investing in them.
In the case of look-up tables, there are different websites that offer these, and some include Rocket Stock, Push Focus, and Ground Control Color. They are mostly suited to people who use video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro, and they can help video editors achieve different effects, so you can make everything from a cinematic masterpiece to a vintage-look project.
As for motion templates, a lot of editing software options provide their own. And, when it comes to sound templates, you can often access these for free. MotionArray, Artlist, and Storyblocks are all great places to start looking for the resources you need.
A Graphics Card or Laptop Optimized for Rendering
Editing videos can put a lot of strain on your computer, so you need to make sure you have the right high-quality equipment that will help speed up your work and ensure it’s up to the standard you want.
This means you need to put some extra thought into the type of graphics card or laptop you buy for your video needs. While most laptops will come with an in-built graphics card, most video professionals tend to invest in another to improve their computer’s performance.
When choosing a laptop for your video editing work, there are some specifications you should look out for if you want your videos to render well. These include a RAM of at least 16GB (32GB if you’re editing 4K resolution videos), a screen of at least 19 inches, and a multi-core processor. For graphics cards, you’ll ideally want to get one that has at least 6GB of memory, and you’ll need to find one that’s compatible with your computer.
Right now, some of the best video editing laptops include the Dell XPS 15 (2020), Dell G5 15 SE (2020), and Apple MacBook Pro 2021, so it’s worth checking these out when you’re shopping around. They’re sure to serve you well and are already favorites among the video freelancer community.
In this article, we’ve looked at several quality tools that you can use to improve and upgrade your work as a video freelancer. They include but are not limited to file transfer software, professional invoice templates, and high-quality video editing software. All of these are very valuable tools that, if used well, will help scale and grow your video freelancing business to greater heights.
Now, if you enjoyed this article and would like to get access to more tips and tricks to help your career as a video freelancer, make sure you follow the MASV blog to stay updated.
Adam Steele is COO and co-founder of Loganix, which is an SEO fulfillment partner for digital marketing agencies and professionals. The company provides the SEO services that businesses need to grow and achieve their goals. If you enjoyed this article, you can find more SEO guides and templates on the Loganix blog.
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