By now, most hobbyists that have bought a drone to perform aerial photography and video are learning that there is a real value to having this piece of equipment that is sought after in the business world.
Much like a high-end camera, a drone operator with the right experience, insurance, and equipment, can do quite well finding and flying jobs for companies that need their services. On average, drone operators with even a small DJI Phantom can expect around $100/hr for their services. Throw in more services, better camera equipment, and a bigger airframe, and you can command much much more.
But the competition is growing already, and like any business your drone businesses largest expense may soon be marketing. Having a business without paying attention to marketing is like having a heart with no arteries – you can have the greatest equipment in the world but you have no pathway to let the world know.
So here are some easy tips to get your started in the right direction and keep you ahead of this growing industry:
Website, mission statement, demo reel, portfolio
The first thing you need to do is establish within your company or even within yourself if you’re a single operator what it is you’re going to do. It is way too easy to just say “well I can do anything that involves a drone”, but what you’re doing is limiting your ability to be THE guy at one specialty. Sure, you can do sporting events, concerts, weddings, and real estate, but how do you compete with the company that does A-Z for weddings? Or the company that goes the extra mile with sporting events on the ground? Or the business that can do renderings and drones in real estate?
The drone is a special tool, but it does stand alone. It is must be paired with other services. Don’t get caught up in standing solely on your ability of knowledge of flying a drone – figure out from the start what service you are going to perform and perform well.
This will also help with your website, portfolio, and demo reel. You may not capture every single prospective client, but your conversions will be high. Someone looking to have a drone at their wedding that sees a general drone website with work may become overwhelmed and have too many questions to contact you. But, a website and work branded “wedding drone company” will make the client realize quickly they’ve come to the right place and convert to a client for you.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Hireuavpro.com was built on the premise of providing drone businesses, pilots, and operators with unmatched SEO. However, we know that every business will want to have their own website to capture their location, services, and direct contact.
Website builders like WordPress have made SEO much easier. For instance, the plugin called “Yoast” adds an SEO set of fields to every page and post inside your website. It will ask that you fill out the keyword, title, and description of the website that best fits the purpose of the page, and then gives you a score once you post. An “ok” means you’re going to do well inside of indexing engines like Google.
Backlinks are also another important way to generate higher SEO scores. Drones are a very exciting new technology, so maybe you know a local news reporter that can run a story about your business? Maybe you want hireuavpro.com to do a write-up for you or profile your business? Any place you can generate a quality backlink is quite good for your website and improves overall SEO.
Prospecting new business is very hard, and especially finding the right person to talk to about what your business does. Picking up the phone, using social media, or shooting emails to “info@…” addresses rarely ever gleans any new business.
A great way to generate leads for your business is to spec something in advance for a target client. If you know you want to be the go-to for golf course shooting then a reasonable question would be asking a golf course if you can shoot for free and will throw in some free photos for them. If you can get in front of the right person and wow them, they may be inclined to pay you in the future and you turn around and market it to other courses.
Generating a list of the right contacts is hard, but there are tools out there for the job. For instance, the Email Generator IO tool is a great way to narrow down people to the right contact, such as the Business Development lead for a company. Using a site like Linkedin, you can find the name of a person and their company they work for. Switching to the email generator tool, it will spit out a list of possibilities within that company. From here, we switch to gmail where you can install the rapportive tool. Simply paste in all the possibilities and hover over them. When an address is a match, you’ll see their personal information on the right side of the email form, knowing this is the address to use.
Don’t forget to list your business at hireuavpro.com! We’re doing a lot of this work for you, and are rolling out a new active and populated job site in the next several weeks so you’ll have actual drone jobs ready to bid on at your disposal.