Basic Mistakes of a Video Editor

Video editor

Video editing can be overwhelming at times, especially when you need to edit lots of videos in a day. This leads to “unconscious” errors along the way.

Most errors are basic ones that can be fixed right away if you double-check your videos each time you finish them.

If you’re just getting started in video editing, here’s a list of the basic mistakes that you can avoid:

Before Editing

Usage of Low Authority Videos for Speaker Reels

A speaker reel (mission reel, sizzle reel, testimonial reel, keynote speaker reel) is a short piece, usually 2-3 minutes long, of edited video or film footage showcasing a person’s previous work.

We use high authority videos for this. This is to display the credibility of the speaker, or the event. Below is a good example of Dennis Yu’s speaker reel with high authority.

Using low authority videos such as b-rolls will make it feel less credible. Please find out how to consider a high authority video.

So before editing, editors must compile the high authority videos that they can use for the showreel. 

During Editing

Having a Weak Introduction to the Video

This is where we usually lose the viewers. The first 3-5 seconds are the most precious seconds of the video, may it be a showreel or a one minute video.

Most beginners in editing don’t pay attention to this. They use a weak introduction in a one minute video, such as starting it with a question or a ‘bumper.’

In our case, we use a ‘hook’ as a strong intro. For the showreels, not leading with the highest authority shots makes a weak intro.

Watch the first few seconds of the video below to get an idea of a strong and compelling hook/intro.

Missing Lower Thirds

A lower third is a graphic overlay placed in the title-safe lower area of the screen. This contains the basic information of the speaker such as his/her name, title, and the company that s/he represents. Without this, viewers will be clueless about who is present in the video.

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The sections highlighted in yellow show examples of lower thirds.

Editing Videos That Are Not Mobile Friendly

Nowadays, most viral videos are found on Facebook. It is important to optimize videos based on Facebook’s standards, such as the updated dimensions of videos.

Recently, there are two sizes that are currently used in Facebook —

  • Square size (1:1)
  • Vertical size(9:16)
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Different video sizes for mobile. 9:16 and 1:1 are the preferred sizes

Using either of the two gives an upper hand by occupying more of the feed, as well as the clarity on a mobile device as opposed to posting your videos in default size (16:9).

Not Working in a “Sound-Off” Environment

Being one of the most used social media websites/apps in the world, you can see lots of people browsing Facebook everywhere, may it be in restaurants, train stations, beach resorts, or anywhere as long as you have your data signal.

But since most people use it in public places, they aren’t fond of watching videos with the volume on. Thus, creating videos that will work in a sound-off environment is an advantage. Besides, you don’t want the viewers ignoring your video just because they can’t understand what it is all about when it’s muted or they need to get their earphones just to watch it, right?

You can easily achieve this by ensuring that your video has the best captions that people are able to read while the video is muted.

video editor mistakes
Use of captions so that the video can be viewed in a “sound-off” environment

Usage of Stock Images/Videos as B-Rolls

One factor of a good video is personalization. Personalized videos make it easier to market your products or your event and make it more engaging to watch. Showing a part of you and what you do in your videos will build trust from your viewers. Using stock images and videos as b-rolls will create the opposite.

Weak Audio – Echoey, Robotic

Raw videos with background noise automatically need to be edited using Adobe Audition or any software/app that can enhance audio. However, echoey and robotic audio are also wrong.

The Background Music is Louder Than the Speaker’s Voice

In relation to the audio, it’s important not to have background music at a higher volume than the speaker’s voice.

After Editing

Failed to Check the Caption on the First Iteration

This mistake can easily be fixed if the editor rechecks it after exporting. It will help save time for the proofer if the editor can fix the wrong grammar, capitalization, and usage of punctuation marks, as well as the time the editor spends sending the video back and forth just because of these basic errors. With the help of Descript, captioning is a lot easier.

Not Using the Proper Naming Convention

We normally use a proper naming convention, so we won’t get lost over which one is the updated version. So, just using a general name, such as video1.mp4 or How to create a lower thirds.mp4, for the video will cause problems eventually.

Sending a Link That Is Not Open to the Public or Broken

When sending videos to clients, make sure that you share the proper link with them. Set the link to be viewable by “All with the link” or add them to the specific drive folder permissions so that they are able to view it.

By following these processes you can save tons of time on your edits.

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.