Making Money With Your Drone

Making money with your drone is pretty easy when someone you know offers up a quick job because they know you have a drone. However, it can get a lot harder when you get past that incredibly low hanging fruit, and want to make money on a more consistent basis. There are some important things to address if you are planning on making money with your drone.

Legal Considerations

A lot of people wonder if it’s legal to make money with a drone at all. The legal side of things is the most important things you need to know about when exploring making money with your drone. The FAA requires commercial drone pilots to be certified in order to charge for their services, or do any type of work associated with a business.  While it’s unlikely that the FAA will ever knock on your door and ask for your credentials, the reality of a lawsuit associated with a drone incident is what all drone pilots should be concerned about…even more concerning if the drone operator does not have the proper liability insurance. If you don’t do it correctly, you could be putting your personal assets at risk and putting your clients at risk as well. Doing it the right way isn’t about being a rule follower, it’s about being smart and protecting yourself, your family, and the people you work for. Oh, and if you do find yourself in a lawsuit, the chances of the FAA banging on your door for those credentials just increased dramatically.

Business Considerations

If you’re going to be making money with your drone on a consistent basis, then you are a business. This scares a lot of people that have never had a business. It feels safer to simply free lance, or just do work on the side. Don’t let the “business” label scare you. In fact, embrace that you are an entrepreneur, solopreneur, small business owner, or even the CEO. The label is for show, but the actions are for go. Setting up a drone business does’t mean running to the bank, taking out a loan, and renting a glass walled corner office downtown…it means planning. It is important to consider what products you offer and who will be buying them.  How much will you charge for your services? Do you need a website, a portfolio, or a demo reel? And what kind of equipment is required to do the work you want to do? There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to running a small part time, or full time drone business. Oh, there it is again…”running a drone business”, it can sound intimidating, but relax, and take it one step at a time. Making money with your drone is fun and incredibly satisfying. After all, you’re doing what you love, and getting paid for it.

Marketing And Sales

The hardest part about making money with your drone, is finding paying clients. “Marketing and Sales” is another intimidating concept for many people, but it shouldn’t be. Letting people know what you have to offer is marketing. Getting clients and jobs is sales.

Think of marketing as trying to get noticed in a huge, noisy crowd of people. So how will you get noticed? There are basically two ways to market your drone services and let people know what you have to offer. You go the the potential clients, or they come to you. You can go to potential clients in many ways including advertising, networking, or even cold calling either on the phone, via email, or in person. When clients are ready to hire someone, you get them to come to you with great SEO (Search Engine Optimization), professional referrals, or an established reputation. We all see marketing efforts everyday in our email, social media feeds, television, etc. We all purchase services and products everyday. When thinking about how to market your drone services, think about all the marketing you see everyday, and consider what path you personally take when you’re ready to purchase something. You have something valuable to offer, but people don’t buy what the don’t know about. You need to let people know about you.

Too many people view sales in a negative way. Don’t let that polyester suit wearing salesman with the slicked back hair, and cheesy mustache pop into your head when you think of sales. You don’t have to be that guy to do sales, but you do need an approach. A drone professional that builds relationships with clients in order to get jobs, referrals, and a great reputation seems like a pretty good approach. There are countless “techniques” to effective sales, but your approach to sales is what will make the difference. Sales doesn’t have to be intimidating, or sleazy like many people think. Once you get out of that mindset, it will be easier, and more effective.

There is a lot of opportunity in the drone industry for both part time and full time pilots. However, it’s growing rapidly and becoming a popular place to be. If you want to make money flying your drone, do it right, and it will be something that rewards you on a continuous basis.