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  1. wolfwill23

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    Hello,

    I was curious how many on here had a thriving drone business that was their main (only) source of income. I'm sure there are a lot of people who do it on the side, but I was wondering if a drone business was anyone's bread and butter. And if so, what area do you specialize in? Feel free to post links to your site etc.

    Thanks and congrats to everyone who is making money flying drones.
     
  2. gingerbloke

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Herefordshire
    I'm a UK (PfCO) drone flier - I took it because I believe it adds to my existing work (web & photography) but I'd find it hard to believe that the 4000+ PfCO pilots in the UK are all feeding/clothing/housing themselves from drone work. It's great to hear of people earning £800+expenses per day but I'd guess they are the exception. Even if I droned full time I'd make less than my day job and I'd be travelling around way too much.

    On the PfCO course, I heard that 40% of PfCO pilots do not renew permissions after the first year, which is revealing.

    Also, the toxic combination of increasing legislation and public negativity about drones is not an environment that I'd chose to attempt a business development.

    In the UK specifically there are many people operating drones quasi-recreationally who aren't PfCO (it's easy to do this because the CAA don't actively police and the police have too much real stuff to deal with), so you're also up against a 'race to the bottom' on rates.

    Things might change - I'm personally glad I did my PfCO but I can't see it leading to my early retirement :)
     
    wolfwill23 likes this.
  3. Super Dave

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    Yes, there's a very revealing video on youtube about the truth of drone business.
    I'm too lazy to put a link, but I'm sure you could find it.
    He describes a friend that bought all the best stuff, dumping thousands of dollars, to start a business.
    That was a mistake.
    He describes the ins and outs if business, and how it really is not a good gamble.
    What stuck with me is, he stated, if you can't come up with at least 100 clients, you probably won't succeed.
    But for me, I live alone, except for my dog, everything is paid off, low overhead, cash in the bank to live on.
    I still haven't come near to breaking even, but I'm having a ball, filming concerts, real estate, magazine cover, etc.
    It's still growing. I'm not ready to claim "mission accomplished" yet, but I realize that you get what you put in and I have a lot of work to do to even make a run for the top.
    I make a goal to do something productive, about 6 days a week.
    Wether it be process pics and video for clients or myself, or get on the phone and make contacts, send emails.
    I recently saw a flier for a country music festival. Met with the promoter, showed my work, etc.
    I was highered right away including passes for my friends, the best camping spot for my toy hauler, and it always leads to more gigs, with bands taking a keen interest in my methods and taking a business card and discussing future events.
    I love that flying leads to more flying, but you really have to work hard to make anything work, especially this work.
    Many nights I do marathon post processing, going well into the wee hours of morning.
    So, any advice I could give is, get out there and be seen A LOT!
    Don't lowball your services, no matter how bad you want it. It's bad for everybody.
    Knock on new doors, touch bases with old, nearly every single day.
    Get creative with services offered, find a nich, maybe something unique to your area.
    I live on the California Delta where properties in the hundreds and thousands of acres are the norm, and the best way to display them is with creative photo skills and altitude. Here's one I did for a local realtor. They didn't want music or graphics, so this is what they got.
    I never clained to be an expert at anything, but every time it gets better and better, and I'm still learning every day.
    Thanks for sitting through my boring speach.
     
    wolfwill23 likes this.
  4. wolfwill23

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    Thanks for the detailed answer.
     
  5. wolfwill23

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    Thanks for the great reply. Sounds like you have things moving in the right direction. I agree with you about the niche approach (niches make riches!)
     
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