Want to make some money flying your drone? Here’s how you can.
If flying drones is your favorite hobby, then you can turn it into your full or part time occupation. All you need to have is a great drone that can actually fly, an FAA approval to fly it, and some marketing skills to pitch and grab customers. And that’s it; you’re ready to do business with your drone.
First Things First – Getting Your Permit to Fly Drone
Before starting, you’ll have to know the regulations and how you can get the permit to fly your drones. Actually, not for just flying, because you don’t need any permit to fly your drone for recreational or non-commercial purposes. However, you will still have to follow some set of regulations to fly for fun.
If you want to make money with your drone, you’ll need to petition the FAA for your business permit via a “Section 333 exemption”. In your petition, you’ll be required to provide some information about your drone and how you maintain and control it, as well as your qualification (minimum age limit to fly a drone is 16) and your business plan. Check the guidelines before providing the in-depth detail about the location where you’ll fly, distance of your flying zone, and the altitude at which you’ll fly your drone. FAA takes around 120 days to grant the permit so get started as soon as you can.
7 Ways to Make Money with Your Drone
Now that you are through with the regulations for flying a drone and the requirements for you to start earning money from it, let’s talk about the ways you can actually earn money with it. Some of the proven ways that people are actually following to earn with their drones are:
Surveys: Professionals like map makers, topographers, archaeologists, and even farmers need aerial surveys to fully evaluate some of their projects. Being a drone operator, you can provide them great aerial views of the estate and better serve their needs as per their demands. That’s because unlike the traditional aerial surveyors like the helicopters, drones can even fly through dense areas as well to capture high-resolution images or videos, and also they are way cheaper than what helicopters would cost.
Inspections: Boilers in the energy producing companies very often go offline because of some malfunctions in the tube inside the boiler. A drone can easily get in there and capture the pictures or make videos that will help the companies solve problems by reducing the over costs. In the same way, you can collaborate with other companies that require regular aerial inspections and earn by providing them the inspection service with your drone.
Reporting: Even the best reporters can’t go to places like high altitudes to record an accident on hill side, or way down in a pit hole to record an unlikely event there. But your drones can go there. Events keep occurring in such places and you can record those events or after event happenings with your drone and sell them to a news channel or several other web portals. Be assured, these videos sell like toast if you have the content in them.
Wedding: People pay huge for wedding photography and videography. Offer them to record the event from the sky for some extra bucks. Show them some great sample shots like crane shot (without bringing a crane) of the people or the venue, overhead view of the dance floor, and some other unique perspectives of the ‘eye from the sky.’ It will make them crave for having those kinds of pictures of their own wedding or any other celebration.
Collaborating: You can also simply collaborate with other businesses like real estate companies for making advertising videos of the buildings or plots, skiing or mountain bike or cycle race organizers to shoot the first person views of the players, tourism organizers for shooting the best parts of the place to visit, or you can simply assist the rock band artists in aerial recording of their concert. Most of them will pay you top dollars for your work as they themselves are going to earn huge taking help from your piece of work.
2 Additional Ways to Make It Huge
Find Your Customers: You’ll need to continuously find new clients for each next job, and it’ll be difficult to visit them all. That’s where you can take advantage of online marketing. You can set up your website to showcase your previous works, and you can also find and connect with them on Facebook or Twitter. The more you become visible on digital domain, the more offers will start coming.
Creative Stock Footage: If you want to work just like a hobbyist. Your drone can still let you make good use of it. You can go places and take beautiful aerial pictures of oceans, mountains, and all kinds of landscapes and even people and streets and sell them through your website. There is an ocean of websites searching for beautiful complementing pictures to include in their product, services, or stories, and you can’t imagine how much you can get paid for that!
Becoming a drone entrepreneur isn’t hard. However, like any other business, you’ll have to invest a little in the start. You’ll need to buy some gears like an iPad for monitoring, and spend a little on getting the permit. However, these little costs will pay off in the long run!