I recently splashed the cash on my eldest son’s eleventh birthday and bought him one of these UFO drone things – I have to admit it’s been a great investment and we both LOVE it!
Anyway, it got me thinking – there must be more than a few ways you can make money with a drone?
I mean they are pretty agile, they are not THAT expensive and they are relatively easy to fly right?
So I got interested – very interested.
And this article is pretty much the outcome of my curiosity – I was more than a little surprised by what my research managed to bring up…
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#1 Sell Aerial Footage of Events (Weddings)
I’m afraid I really can’t take the credit for this idea as one of my good friends came up with it – it’s an excellent route though…if you do it right!
First things first – let the venue know well in advance before you go flying around their property (some owners get more than a little fussy about mini UFO’s flying around their events!).
You should also keep in mind that the wedding guests may well have a good lawyer or two up their sleeves – so don’t go flying too close to anyone!
I can imagine this option appearing very attractive to existing wedding photographers but I urge them to stop and think for a moment – maybe taking on an extra service will become a little too much?
Wouldn’t it be better to concentrate directly on the aerial footage? I would imagine you could charge twice as much for that sort of thing?
Anyways, just my two cents on the subject – what do you think? (leave your thoughts in the comment section below).
#2 Aerial Surveys
Again, I’m afraid I can’t really take the credit for this idea either…my hairdresser’s boyfriend came up with it! (don’t ask!).
He’s a cartographer and he’s recently noticed a large increase in the use of drones in his industry.
Apparently Small UAV operators are quickly finding a foothold in digital photogrammetric mapping and ortho photography services due to the huge savings that happen when using drones.
They are small and much slower than your typical aircraft and can carry numerous image capturing devices.
#3 Creating a YouTube Channel
I was super-curious about this idea so I had to check out YouTube for myself and see how many drone enthusiasts were on there…a LOT!
But most of these uploaders were busy bragging about their drone flights and creating review videos for certain drone products – not that many were actually concentrating on the drone flight (and footage!).
The ones that were seemed to be doing quite well with the old ‘thumbs up’ and view count. They were also monetizing their flight videos with YouTube’s Adsense option.
This option really does appeal to me the most as I have extensive knowledge and experience of making money on YouTube – I feel this could well be a hidden goldmine.
You can make decent money by simply posting daredevil videos captured by your drone from interesting spots in your area (or further afield).
#4 The Indie Film Industry
Think how many local indie filmmakers would be chomping at the bit to find a reliable drone pilot? I mean a few aerial shots could really help certain scenes take off!
Of course they could always opt to capture the footage themselves but how professional do you think that would turn out?
If you have a few months of drone flying under your belt you could piss all over their efforts of shaky footage – with ease!
A few articles I came across online explain that filmmakers are finding that a well-operated camera drone can be a lot less expensive and more versatile option than jibs, cranes, dollies etc.
Worth thinking about right?
#5 Real Estate Footage
I thought I’d save the most lucrative option until last…because I stole this idea from another website (shock, horror!).
Yeah I stumbled across this idea numerous times online so I just had to include it in this article – shooting videos for real estate business.
Now you just can’t flog any old shaky footage to this bunch – you will probably need to be a steady pilot with a semi-professional drone (at the very least).
Apparently numerous real estate agents are quickly realizing that very low altitude aerial video footage captured by drones sell large pieces of property/homes with unique features more quickly.
I checked out the pricing for these sorts of footage and I have to say – this option can be VERY lucrative if you able to provide clean and professional looking videos.
A decent set of drone skills, a good camera and some editing software could make you A LOT of money in the real estate business.
If you feel you are at the level to try this, I strongly recommend you look into it (asap!).