Basic mistakes of a video editor

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

Most errors are basic ones that can be fixed immediately if you just watch your video every time you finish it.


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


Before Editing:


  • Usage of low authority videos for speaker reels.

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


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


During Editing:


  • Having a weak introduction to the video:


This is where we usually lose the viewers. The first 4-5 seconds are the most important seconds of a video, be it 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’. Please see here what a bumper is. In our case, we use a ‘hook’ as a strong intro. Here’s a video explaining what hook is. 


For the showreels, not leading with the highest authority shots makes a weak 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 on who is present in the video.



  • Editing videos that are not mobile friendly:


Nowadays, most viral videos are found on Facebook/Instagram. It is important to optimize videos based on Facebook’s standard by using their video dimensions. 


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


  • Square size (1:1)
  • Vertical size(9:16)

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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 the most used social media website/app in the world, you can see lots of people browsing on Facebook everywhere, restaurants, train stations, beach resorts, anywhere as long as you have a 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?



  • 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. 


Reminder: When the use of stock footage is necessary make sure that you have the proper licensing, as well as with music assets in every video.

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  • Weak audio – echoey, robotic


Raw videos with background noise automatically need to be edited on Adobe Audition or any software/app that can enhance an audio. If the quality of the audio is echoey or robotic and hard for you to understand, then the audience will not be able to understand either.



  • The background music is louder than the speaker’s voice.

In relation to the audio, it’s a major no-no to have higher volume background music than the speaker’s voice. 

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After Editing:


  • Failed to check the caption on the first iteration:

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This is a mistake that can easily be fixed if the editor would just check the video after exporting. It will help save time for the “Proofer” if the editor can fix wrong grammar, capitalization, and usage of punctuation marks. This saves time for the editor by not having to send the video back and forth just because of these basic errors.



  • Not using the proper naming convention:


We normally use a proper naming convention, so we won’t confuse which one is the updated version. So just using a general naming scheme, such as video1.mp4 or How to create a lower thirds.mp4, for the video will cause problems eventually. Each video should have a Date and Version at the end for example Dennis_Conference_Seattle_662019_V1.mp4



  • Sending a link that is not open to public or broken.


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


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


Dennis Yu

About the Author

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.