How do you edit video? What is best program?

BY TJ Walker

My advice on editing social media videos is to do this: don’t. That’s right; I’m suggesting that you don’t bother editing. Instead, recording “live to tape” (even though you aren’t using tape in all likelihood) is the better way to go.

While editing has gotten simpler, cheaper and faster over the years, the problem for most people is still that once you start it can be challenging how to figure out when to stop. What seems like a simple trim becomes the haircut that ends up turning into a shaved head. All of a sudden every “uh” and “um” turns into a project that must be removed.

Oprah doesn’t remove the uhs and ums from her guests; neither does the Today Show. So why should you.

Your time is valuable. Rather than spending lots of time editing, you are better off shooting more video filled with interesting ideas and insights.

Especially if you are a one-man-band (or woman) it can be overwhelming to try to edit videos on a regular basis. What seems like a simple five minute project turns into a 90 minute projects. Then you put a couple of them together and it’s an entire afternoon. The next thing you know, doing social media videos is some big, gigantic PROJECT that takes up a big part of your life and needs to be justified with an immediate Return on investment.

Don’t go there—at least not yet.

Instead, I suggest you create social media videos just as you breathe and talk—naturally, simply and quickly. Many of the most watched social media videos I have ever created were produced in less than 2 minutes—and then I never gave them any more thought before or after—I simply posted, labeled and forgot.

I do, however, have one form of editing that I like to use sparingly: the do-over. If I feel that I have screwed up, especially if it is near the beginning of a video, I will stop instantly, hit delete and start over. This is infinitely faster and less time consuming than editing together different pieces of a take. Just do the whole darn thing over again. Occasionally, I might stumble over a word in the final 2 seconds. If it is a minor stumble I’ll just correct myself, keep on going and use it. But if it’s awful, I will just redo the whole video. Since most videos are 90 seconds or less, that’s all it takes to do it over. And there’s very little chance that you could start and finish most editing projects in 90 seconds or less.

The secret to quick easy social media video: do it over, but only when absolutely necessary.

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