You may probably need some more money in addition to what you’re making right now, or you would like to make a huge business from a drone. We will give you a guide of the various ways that you can benefit from a drone by making money out of it.
Drones are now a bit affordable and accessible such that purchasing one won’t be a challenging task. The beauty of aerial photography has been appreciated by most people, creating a business opportunity for drone owners who are professional in their work. Various industries require aerial photography and videography for multiple purposes. This means that you won’t be limited to events such as weddings, as some people assume. Before we indulge in the ways you can make money from a drone, let’s first look at the equipment that you’ll need for you to make money with the drone.
Necessary Equipment Required for Making Money from A Drone
You don’t require a lot of equipment for you to begin this work, you will just need a professional drone that will provide high-quality pictures and videos. In this era where everyone can take a photo using their phone, you will need to be more creative and take pictures that are close to impossible to be taken from a phone. This is possible by purchasing a high-quality drone. It might be expensive in the beginning, but you will enjoy its fruits later as you gain more contracts. Professional work is an open way of attracting more clients.
What Should You Have in Mind When Beginning the Business?
· Research on the rules and regulations governing drone use
You don’t want to find yourself on the wrong side of the law when you have just begun this business. To avoid this, ensure that you are well aware of the regulations in the country and areas where you plan to operate the business. Due to the high use of drones in recent times, these laws and regulations are constantly changing.
·Learn how to use your drone
You may know about operating drones, but different drones have some tricks that provide high-quality work when followed closely. Having said this, it’s essential to learn everything regarding the drone that you have chosen. This will ensure that you’re comfortable working with it. Also, it boosts your confidence when working, and in the end, your productivity increases. Moreover, you will gain more trust from the clients by just being confident about your work, and this will eventually work well for you as they may call you more often.
·Treat it as a business like any other
If you intend to make money from the drone, then that’s a business. Some places may require registration of the business. Others may have qualifications put in place for the conduct of the specific business, and many more regulations. Consequently, you shouldn’t ignore the business codes and practices put in place for the conduct of business in your area of operation.
It’s essential to have insurance for your drone business for protection in case of accidents and damages. Flying a drone is a high-risk activity that is prone to crashes and injuries; this poses the need for protecting yourself and the drone. Ensure you have enough knowledge of the insurance provider before acquiring insurance from them. This will ensure that you’re well aware of what type of damages they insure and in what circumstances that the insurance is valid.
Ways of How to Make Money with A Drone
With this background, we can now get to the most interesting part of how you can make money with your drone.
1. Aerial photography and videography.
This is the most popular way of making money with a drone. You can take it as a freelance drone job where you take various creative pictures and clips, and sell them online to prospective clients. Some online platforms allow you to create a virtual shop and sell your exciting photos and videos. You may choose to be more creative by designing objects such as calendars using your images. You should ensure that they’re not as ordinary as those in the market. Creativity is vital in this.
Furthermore, you can get some contracts from clients who need aerial photography and videography for specific objects, events, or functions. Such clients may be in the following fields:
This is the most common event that requires drone services. Photographs and videos taken from different angles are fascinating, and that’s why most clients seek drone services. They give a film an exciting feel that is breathtaking to watch. To make money from weddings, you will need to create a network with the wedding photographers that are known in your area of operation and offer to provide drone services.
· Sports events
Almost every country or area has sports activities. This is a business opportunity for you. As sports are taking place, the clients may need images and videos of those activities. Some live streaming of the sports activities may be required to provide a proper view of all the fans. Subsequently, you can contact the sports clubs in your area and seek to provide drone services to them.
You can take interesting aerial pictures of landmarks and buildings, approach the owners, and sell them. You should, however, ensure that you have followed the regulations provided keenly to avoid invading the privacy of the owners. Moreover, builders and architects need aerial photographs for their work as it adds value to their portfolio. You can approach them and provide high-quality pictures and films for their work.
· News reporting
There are some local TV stations, newspapers and reporters who need aerial photographs and videos, but they don’t have the drones. You can approach such prospective clients and provide high-quality photos and films that can be used for news reporting. Furthermore, you may decide to have a nose for news, such that you can distinctively identify a newsworthy event and one that isn’t. In this case, use your professionalism to cover the newsworthy events and sell them to TV stations, and any other prospective clients.
There are some music concerts, drama concerts, and cultural events that take place in your focus area. The event’s promoters and planners may need drone services for capturing the events interestingly. The promoters can use it to document their various activities and use it to market their work. Moreover, the persons involved in the event may need a copy of the film or photographs for memories. This is an excellent opportunity for you.
· Hotels and resorts
An advert that is of high quality and with various angles makes it stand out among other adverts of the same product. Hotels and resorts are all over, and they need to promote their products and services more often to increase their competitive advantage. Approach your prospective hotels and convince them of the benefits of your drone services to their marketing strategy, and you’re likely to end up with a good deal. Additionally, the hotels may need drone services to cover some special events happening in them for record-keeping, and promotional purposes.
· Real estate
This is a business opportunity that you could tap into as the local realtors and estate companies will need to promote their real estate projects to attract clients. Aerial photography and videography provide a view that is difficult to find when the ordinary cameras are in use, even the most professional ones. This distinct view is what will provide you with a competitive advantage over other photographers. Create a network with the local realtors and real estate companies in your area for more contracts.
For most of what we have discussed above, the photography and videography services that we have discussed are meant for promotional purposes. Other functional reasons that may require drone services include the following:
2. In agriculture
Agricultural workers and farmers need to keep an eye on what is going on in their farms. When monitoring the growth of their crops, checking their health, and many more purposes will require aerial photographs and videos. With proper experience in the operation of your drone, you will be in a position to deliver what the clients want in a very effective way.
3. Stock photography
There are some stock photo websites such as Shutterstock and iStock. You can create a profile on these websites. They will need to review your photographs, and after accepting them, you can begin to make money from the downloads the picture accumulates. You should know the various stock photography sites available to ensure that you have chosen one with the best outcome. Some accept cheap photography and pay poorly, while others accept quality photography and pay well. This is a way of checking the legibility and reliability of the stock website.
You don’t have to create a specific day where you will take the pictures, but you can take creative pictures in your other projects, edit, and sell them to Stock. You may not make a lot of money from them, but it can be a form of making some income in between your projects.
4. Surveillance and security
Private companies and government offices may need drone services to survey on their property. Some of these properties are huge such that some spaces may be left out when drones aren’t in use. Approach such offices and seek to provide drone services to them.
Drone photographers may be needed to inspect works, buildings, and facilities. The industries do some inspection to check on any damages or any other reason that is beneficial to them. In such situations, you will need to know the industry you plan to work with, for an easier understanding of what the client wants. Moreover, you can suggest some areas that they may not have discovered or may have left out and create more jobs for you.
Various industries hire drone services for mapping. They include the following; construction industry, mining industry, forest industry, landscaping, archeology industry, and topography. In this case, you will also need to know the industry you plan to work with for a comprehensive understanding of the client’s requirements, as well as build confidence among the clients. You can approach such industries, especially those you’re confident to work with and do business with them.
7. Train on drone techniques
After proper training and handling a variety of projects, you’ll have enough experience to teach others on drone flying techniques and other drone practices. The newbies in this business get interested in being trained by a drone operator who has experience in the field since they believe he or she will provide insights that are critical to the business. You can take on this business opportunity and earn good money from it.
Real estate drone jobs
We have chosen to discuss this area in specific since the industry has increased growth over the years. A recent survey that was done by the Federal Reserve to understand Consumer Finances showed that 65.2% of the families in America have their primary residence. This means that the desire to own a home has grown over the years. With this growth, many investors are now interested in investing in this sector. This means a higher demand for drone services.
We will have a look at the drone jobs in real estate as well as ways that can increase and maintain your client base since this has become a very competitive business.
You can choose to find the jobs on your own, or you can join a drone pilot network where you’re likely to get more jobs. The most common areas where drone services are required in real estate include commercial real estate, residential real estate, and large plots of land.
Selecting the Best Drone for Real Estate
Here are a few things to consider when purchasing or hiring a camera drone for real estate projects. They include the following;
· Battery life
You won’t need less than an hour to cover an average residential shoot. You may need even more hours for a commercial shoot. This means that to get the best footage, you should select a drone that will provide a high battery life. Running out of batteries during a shoot may portray a bad image to the client, and that may be the last time you get a contract from that client, and few or no referrals will be made. Always inquire from your seller on the battery life of the drone, and if additional batteries need to be bought, then you should consider purchasing this for great productivity in the real estate.
· Quality of the camera
You shouldn’t go for cheap and unprofessional drones that will provide blurred images or poor-quality footage. Ensure that you have chosen one that has qualified to be a professional-grade camera. Don’t be afraid of their cost as you could check with various sellers and end up with an affordable professional-grade camera.
· Payload options
As you get more experience in this field, you may need to get an additional camera that will give you different angles of the real estate projects. With this in mind, you should ensure that the drone can take customized payloads; if not, that couldn’t be the best drone for you as it will limit your capability.
· Flight modes
Some drones are provided with pre-programmed flight modes. This allows you to take special shots of the project in automatic mode. These modes are useful for both beginners and experienced drone operators. The dynamic shots that they take to ensure that the footage isn’t boring and creative pictures are produced.
How to get real estate clients that require drone services
Before seeking prospective clients, you should ensure that you have an updated portfolio of your work to showcase your capabilities interestingly. You can use the following ways to get the client;
·Give a ‘free shoot.’
You can decide to give a free shoot to prospective clients. You should, however, research to ensure that the clients are prospective clients that won’t take advantage of you, and will provide more work in the future.
· Search the clients online
You can get the best clients from sites such as LinkedIn Jobs, Indeed, Glassdoor, and many more. They will offer some job openings that will be of benefit to you. You should visit these sites, enter your area of operation, and search for something related to drone pilot or drone services. This will lead you to the job openings that you can gain from.
·Word of mouth
You can explore your network and find out the best people that can connect you to the realtors in your target area. Once they have made the connection, you’re likely to get more referrals and land more contracts. This means that you should keep your network close and strong for a positive referral and promotion.
How Much Does A Drone Pilot Get Paid?
As we have discussed earlier, you should always have skills in running the drone business, be aware of the regulations governing drone business, and ensure that you have purchased the right equipment for your work. This way, there will be fewer fines to pay, and you will provide high-quality work that is well paying.
You can make good money from drone business, but you need to be aware of some realities that may increase the cost of filming and production. Depending on the type of equipment and your skill level, the daily rates range from $350 – $700 for a pilot. If the coverage requires specialist equipment, you may need to charge more for the same.
Factors That Can Affect the Cost of Drone Services
Below are some variables that can affect how much a client has to pay for drone services. They include the following.
- You may be required to pay for permission to take off and land in some piece of land, in a public area, or a restricted location. This will eventually increase the cost of the drone services.
- The type of equipment being used also affects the price. This is because it affects the quality of work being provided, the angles it can take depending on the payload options and flight modes, as well as the cost of its maintenance.
- Having rights to the footage. If the client wants sole rights to the footage, then you can charge more. The rights to the footage are well explained in the T&C’s.
How Much Should I Charge for Drone Photography
It’s difficult to state the exact amount that one should charge for drone photography. Nevertheless, we will provide some tips that will guide you in pricing photography and videography services. They include the following:
· Customize a quote for each project
Different projects will need a different approach, which means the skills required for different projects will vary and may cost differently. Custom quoting isn’t an easy task to undertake, but it works well in the end.
As you begin to custom quote, you should ensure that you know what the client needs, for the identification of the equipment and skills to be used in the project. You should standardize part of the process to ensure that the client doesn’t feel overcharged. Standardization can be done by providing the deliverables you will offer in the end, and provide a price range for each. You should be well aware of the deliverables to ensure that a reasonable price range is provided. Communicate this to the clients and ensure that you have an agreement that serves both of you right.
Some clients may wonder why you’re providing custom quotes. You should let them know that it’s because every project is unique, and a custom quote ensures that you get the value of what you’ve paid for.
· Turnaround time
This can be described as how fast you will deliver your services to the client. The client can utilize the deliverables sooner when the turn around time is shorter. Shorter turnaround times are appealing to the clients, but you should ensure that it’s reasonable. You should include this in both expensive and cheaper packages.
· Pricing your work hourly
You may decide to take this strategy for the long-term projects since the client pays you for the amount of time you’ve spent taking the footage, and the amount of time the drone operator puts into the post-production. You should, however, be careful not to prolong the project for more pay. This is a bad business practice that may lead to your failure. Moreover, ensure that you have agreed on the hourly rates with the client before beginning the project.
· Pricing the still photos taken
The price you give for the still photos can depend on the image size, photoshop editing, resolution, and number of images. You can decide to offer images of different sizes and resolutions. Images with more sizes and resolutions can be used by your clients for more purposes. This means that the provision of images with high resolutions or sizes should be included in the expensive package.
Still photos can also be charged depending on the number of images provided. You should ensure that every image has a distinct angle that can give the client more options to choose from. Consequently, the more the pictures, the more the cost.
Additionally, still photos can be charged in terms of whether they will need photoshop editing or not. If you’re equipped with some graphic design skills, you may offer to provide these services to the client and make more money from it.
· Choose to combine still photos and video
You can show the client charges for still photos and videos separately, and then provide one that combines both for a lower deliverable price. Most clients will prefer the combination, and you will make more money than on still photos alone.
Make Money With Your Drone today
You now know the drone business. It’s up to you to make the decision and choose the field in the drone business, that can work well for you. You should always have in mind that the packaging of your services plays a huge role in the amount the client is willing to pay. Do a lot of research, strategize well and begin making money with your drone.