What is the best path to get started in my drone business?

By | September 16, 2022

In today's episode we discuss the optimal way for drone pilots to get started with their drone business.

🔥Get Your Biggest and Most Common Drone Certificate Questions Answered by claiming our FREE Part 107 Guide NOW! –

Download and listen to the audio version of the Ask Drone U podcast, and get your drone and business related questions answered here:

Check out our latest Live Classes for Drone Mapping/Operations
| |

Landing Pads:

🔥Drone U Recommended Drones:
Best Travel Drone:
Best Video Drone:
Best Photography Drone:

🔥Become a Member
Learn why more pilots choose Drone U for learning how to fly and turn your passion into profit.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and, if you don't mind, leave us a 5-star review while you're there:

🔥Follow us:
Site –
Facebook –
Instagram –
Twitter –
YouTube –

Drone Mapping Guide –

05:20 Today's question – What is the best path to get started in my drone business?
06:41 Some low hanging fruits in a drone business
09:48 Developing skills and networking to help grow a business
13:08 Software and mechanisms to master
13:49 How to understand the nuances of different drone jobs and identify recurring jobs
16:25 Why quality and consistency can greatly help your drone business ?
17:48 Why advertising is a good bet to beat the current inflationary environment ?
18:50 DJI's new drone
24:08 Will other pilots use RemoteID? What are its implications?

You're listening to the ask dronium Podcast you ask we answer your drone Questions whether you're here to turn Your passion into profit or you simply Fly for fun we're a community of Learners and teachers who aspire to Achieve greatness we are Hey everyone and welcome to another Episode of ask a drone you as always my Name is paul my name is rob thankful to Be sitting here hanging out um knowing At least a few of you are out there Appreciate you spending a few minutes of Your day with us We know you've got a lot of choices Dang there's a lot of choices of what to Do with your time and so for those of You that are hanging out with us thank You very much we want to make it worth Your while And that's our goal today i think we Will yeah thank you very much as well And thank you for all of our members That support the community Um today's podcast comes from a caller Asking about um the right pathways or Navigation Of getting uh started in his drone Business and we've kind of we've hit This one before i think a little bit Earlier this year but i think to add More information what we're going to do Is Kind of discuss maybe the attempted

Timelines That you might face as a pilot going After some of these opportunities and How to maybe limit those timelines to Ensure a more rapid progression In your drone business because You know it's not just the it's not just The drone opportunities rob it makes me Think of how we go about with working uh With some of these clients and I think another thing that we could add In this show is Things to be wary of uh maybe Methodologies of protecting oneself Because We just went through something recently Of you know giving a client a little you Know extra help or whatever Ended up being a huge mistake because They just wanted more and more and more And more and more and i had to reinforce The boundaries Quite significantly and forcefully to Say look we were trying to help you out You're taking this too far we gave it in She took a mile so i you know anything That's on us we will fix anything else That you want as part of this project is Going to be extra and i just had to put My foot down and say look i like you man But this takes more and more time Everything that you're asking i know why You're asking it i totally understand Why you're asking it i just don't think

The consideration of how much time it's Gonna take to get these things done is Being considered and that's why we have To put up our boundaries and say look You're gonna have to pay for this so I think what uh you know what Opportunities Time frame of opportunities and then Also methodologies of going about these Opportunities i think will be kind of The topic for today's show obviously we Do have a question It's just that we've hit this question Kind of before of what are the best Opportunities for drone pilots moving Forward Um and so i think in an effort to add to That information we hit these other Things that i've mentioned today so Sounds good makes me think of the uh the Old book i think i've brought it up Before Um give a moose a cupcake They'll i can't remember exactly how it Ends but they'll want another cupcake Basically it never ends yeah and that Goes through this whole progression you Give them this and they want this and They want this added and then they want This that's pretty funny well I saw this reel this weekend rob that Really made me think and before we get Into the question i just want to touch On this

And it was about clients that ask about Discounts And the Uh the guy was saying look any any buyer Who asked for a discount this is Actually a good thing Because it showcases the buyer's intent He's already made the decision to buy And he says the way that you should go About handling these quote unquote Discounts is by essentially saying You know this is the lowest that i can Go on the price if you want i can go Higher i mean literally just coming back And saying i can do more i'm already Giving you a deal like you know i love That you're interested but at the same Time i'm happy to charge more and just Like be silent and let them come back on That i will also say i want you to think Of Either asking for discounts or giving Discounts if this was your friend's Business would you really want to ask For a discount or would you want to Fully support his business and maybe Support it like how a lot of people on Instagram support celebrities that are Lots of show and no go so Anyway my two cents good point yeah Something to think about for sure so it Looks like you got the hungry moose Pulled up if you get it's a muffin if You give a moose a muffin they'll want

Jam and they'll want uh all the muffins And then when you run out of muffins They'll want to go to the store to get Muffin mix And they'll want that grass-fed butter That's right I'll never forget that at thanksgiving i Can taste the grass in the butter it's Healthy it's good stuff All right um our show today is brought To you by dronie membership with over 40 Classes to help you monetize your drone Business it's the biggest library of Drone classes and the most value out There we have not even risen raised Prices excuse me in the wake of Inflation so make sure you pick up a Membership today 47 is gonna give you Literally dozens of ways to monetize Your aircraft have fun build great Business relationships and build a Scalable business from the start check It out the droneyou.com Hey rob hey paul My name is andrew and i'm calling from The hudson valley new york been Listening to your guys's podcast for a Couple months and i love the content You're putting out i really do uh keep It up So my question for you guys today is What do you think is the best avenue to Get started in with commercial droning So i've been

Looking to get into the industry Currently studying for my part 107 License exam And yeah i've got a couple drones i got A dji mini 2 mavic 3 and a p4p pro v2 Now I've been considering starting with Local roof inspections and or real Estate and seeing where that goes but i Do want to get into mapping Yeah i just would love some advice as to What do you think is the best avenue to Get started in With this industry Love to hear you guys thoughts Appreciate it thanks bye Thanks andrew um first of all pretty Nice fleet he's starting with uh yeah There's a lot that uh you can do with That andrew so it's a particularly Pertinent question given the fleet of Drones that you have because you have Some pretty solid opportunities there Um [Music] Yeah um I think one of the things that we wanted To talk about too was What what defines low hanging fruit Nowadays Well yeah with the idea that these newer Pilots are going to go after this Low-hanging fruit for you know paid Practice or just trying to dip their

Toes in and i think you bring up a Really good point of what low-hanging Fruit is is really out there anymore Because even The low-hanging fruit can take you To higher paying jobs like cinewoop Fly-throughs or fly-through tours that Company based here out of denver the Inside drone tours they're just like Literally taking off and you know back In the day We knew what real estate Um Roof inspections maybe some cell tower Inspections where the low hanging fruit How do you think that low hanging fruit Has evolved or changed as a whole Well i don't even know that i would Consider So i think for me in in my sort of Layman's perspective Even though obviously i've been involved In the industry for a long time it's Always been the something real estate Related is low-hanging fruit Maybe some commercial stuff where you're Helping a local business get some Aerials of their business that kind of Thing i would probably put that into the Category of low-hanging fruit I do not think that inspections of any Kind were low hanging fruit Even a few months ago but i think it's Sort of evolved into that maybe a little

Bit just because there's more um Consideration there i think the people That need that service That benefit are seeing the value and so There's more opportunity there so it's Kind of a natural Progression for a drone pilot but Um in terms of how The the term low hanging fruit has has Evolved i would say it's probably Starting to include some inspection Stuff especially like residential roof Inspections that kind of thing i don't Know that i would include personally Like cell tower inspections in that Because What seems to be the case there is a lot Of networking is involved um there's got To be some solid relationships because So many of the cell towers are now owned By They're like they're like the new ats of The world right What was that uh what was that tower Company uh Gosh this there was one that we were Talking to that's owned Man And that's a public company i was trying To remember the name of that i can't Remember it either yeah but i mean it's A public company so it's it's massive Well i think also we've seen with these Cell tower inspections specifically that

Sometimes it can be a sketchy Opportunity i mean just in the last Training that we had we had two pilots Who were being asked to do Cell tower inspections and had already Done some and hadn't been paid yet and Were like 120 days past due and they Were being asked to do more and it was Like well pay me for the ones i've Already done and then we'll talk about You know doing the new ones and they Essentially blew them off And so i will say with that particular Industry vertical i think it's it's wise To be careful And uh I i've just heard of some some pilots Being raked over the coals and so i Think there's just a good fair warning There i think it's the nature of sort of The wild wild west of an industry it's Sort of still in that realm and so You've got people who are pretty good at Rallying the troops so to speak And when you have so it's frankly it's a Supply and demand thing in some ways Which is why you need to really develop Your skills get really good at Networking get really good at doing Things like Expressing your value in multiple ways Social media networking etc because You've got these people that are the Aggregators and i don't necessarily mean

The drone bases of the world i mean People out there that are good at Networking say online which of course They can reach a lot of people They bring in the business and they farm It out well they know that if pilot a is Pissed off that they didn't get paid no Big deal i'll go find pilot b And so in a sense Man i think the more of us That number one demand to get some Payment up front even if it's half a Quarter something Gets some skin in the game It's going to help the industry as a Whole because It's an issue because there's a lot of People that for obvious reasons it's a Great industry to be in but it's just Still in that in that phase of people Trying to figure it out and people Taking advantage of that because as much As we all love capitalism it also Affords those opportunities totally Totally and when thinking about you know The type of different low-hanging fruit Jobs that you could go after you know i Think it's important to also think about How can these low-hanging fruit jobs Kind of transition or transform into the Stuff that he wants to do you know he Mentioned mapping and so low hanging Fruit what about working for roofing Contractors and doing like our

Commercial roofing inspection course That we're about to come out with to Very different from residential You know it involves mapping it's not 2d It's also 3d now the image acquisition Methodologies in that course are evolved From the mapping course they're Simplified it's a it's a really killer System But that said if he gets in with roofing Contractors and he's like hey look i can Help uh reduce the number of change Orders increase the accuracy of Estimates Reduce the amount of trips that to a Particular site i can increase client Engagement for you guys by showcasing Beautiful 3d models Of these commercial properties so that You guys know exactly what work has to Be done how to keep a project on time And then mapping it throughout the Timeline of the project We can see that progression in real time We can make better decisions and we can Also Ensure That the work that we have done We have like a record of the Installation essentially of it and then We can showcase that transformation of The project over time and now you're not Just making helping them make database Decisions you're helping them

Showcase their value to other clients And i think you know as far as an Evolution of low-hanging fruit i think Commercial roofing inspections are now a Low-hanging fruit meaning working Directly for roofing contractors and we Also say that because we've got a course Coming out on props it's an entire Course set actually And uh this will be this will blow a lot Of minds for our regular listeners it is Not Using pix4d so Yeah yeah so a new partnership with oh Yeah i know ryan uh a new partnership With optello A new partnership with optellos is Allowing us to use bentley context Capture to create even more lifelike 3d Models which are they they come out Really really really sharp with really Minimal data so well and and great Mechanisms for sharing the data with Clients yeah totally they really have Nailed that yeah i couldn't agree more So if you remember rob uh someone had Asked this question like i said i think It was q1 q2 this year and we came up With this mind map of all these Different opportunities and We're not going to go through that mind Map but what i do want to say is you Know i think it's important when you're Looking at low hanging fruit jobs or

Jobs as a whole to really consider We've said this before The client navigation and how do you Scale that from start to finish and how Do you create business opportunities That are recurring revenue i think the Commercial roofing inspections if you're Working with a couple of set of Contractors that's going to be a great Recurring revenue job Solar inspections great recurring Revenue job you know communications Inspections great recurring revenue job Um and then construction inspections Progression inspections great you know Recurring revenue i think that's a big One for somebody like this to get to try To get into well and and that brings up My next point which is one of the Biggest things that's overlooked for These newer pilots Is um Developing just one particular skill Ie mapping Rather than focusing on Setting up the right foundation of Skills and we came up with that video That's on youtube that you can watch About how to be a successful drone pilot And we talk about this in that video That you've really got to be able to fly In close proximity you've got to be able To Not just fly fast

And agile but slow and smooth in close Proximity and then also be able to map Because in the example of construction Like rob just mentioned This is not just creating an ortho but It's also progression shots It's you know beautiful photos of the Project it's beautiful video of the Project and so you're gonna need all Those skill sets To really crush the competition And one thing i will say to try to Encourage people who may feel stuck in Their business or who are just getting Started That at the end of the day quality and Consistency Are going to be the key drivers of uh Getting your business going and growing There are still so many people who have Asked this stuff and if you can make it Really easy and convenient to work with You You're very punctual And you create systems that are backed By good skill Frankly speaking i think there is still A huge opportunity to start a drone Business And overcome uh a lot of the existing Competition that's out there because a Lot of people You know they build their marketing Stuff it looks great but they don't put

You know Feet to the pavement and actually Build the networking stuff or build Their network as a whole build those Relationships do community outreach et Cetera And so i think that there is a huge Opportunity To really create that systematic Scalable business focused on client Relationships you make it easy and Convenient to work with you you have Boundaries but you're also happy to help People and i think that you're going to Be doing just just fine So um yeah that video is doing great Happy to see that um So that said um when you are taking These low-hanging fruits on i want you To think about what is the Transformation or transition in the jobs That you want how do you transform into The recurring revenue jobs how do you Create the systems to support said jobs And then Can you put a time limit on the Low-hanging fruit like if you go out and Do real estate stuff and after three Months it's just not hitting it's or six Months it's just not hitting move on Like what is your plan i think it's Important to lay out a plan and i think It's also important to lay out What skills you'll need as a drone pilot

And how you're going to practice those But also Lay out what software's that you might Need to learn in order to be a good All-around pilot because at the end of The day if you can fly low slow and Smooth and you can do mapping then you Can do marketing for just about any Company out there and rob you hit Something this morning on the show that I hope someone brings out a question and If we do see a technical recession or Even a pullback in the economy One of the first things to go is Advertising we've also heard from Companies in 0809 while everyone was Pulling back on advertising they went Further in And it made a huge difference for them So i would love to see a question from The community about What is the right business strategy for My small business Going into a potential recession What can i focus on you know what uh Marketing materials or story do i focus On to get people engaged and buy from me Um because I will say i'm seeing marriotts do these Fly-through tours all the time or not Marriott's uh i ihg Yeah um what is that holiday inn so um That said uh it they're You know that's that's the skill of

Flying low slow and smooth and then Taking it to fpv and doing it without Sensor assist and you know dji's got a New drone coming out this week the avada Or whatever it's called which is a Cinewoop but i think from what i'm Seeing online it might be a very Underpowered cinewoop and i have to say Uh hashtag don't tell me where to fly Dji um because cinewoop is the one drone I feel like that has really brought me Back into the core of being a drone Pilot and having that ultimate Experience that full control and that Ability to just showcase skill on a Level that you know a lot of people just Don't have or they don't put the time Into to acquiring more and more people Are getting this and it's awesome to see Yeah there are um but at the same time You can really evolve your opportunities With that skill and i'm curious how this Dji release is going to go this week you Know i'm sure we're going to see every Youtuber oh it's the greatest drone ever And then you'll see some fpv pilots be Like well it's a 2s battery so you Really can't get that much acceleration Or amperage is it going to have gps or Is it going to be like full Fpv cinewip style according to our Famous leaker it doesn't even have a Full manual mode Exactly yeah

Exactly uh-huh but you know what that Was a sarcastic awesome just to clarify Correct yeah uh-huh there will be a Market for it and what because it's fun It's a toy that's cool yeah that's cool It's a toy definitely not a tool but It's a toy I also i want to take a poll And wonder how many fpv pilots would Actually Pick up that drone i'm Because it's the equivalent of a five Inch fpv With two inch power uh-huh Well we got a five we have a five inch Cinewood and i have a 6s battery on that So i can rip it you know and that gets You what 10 minutes no four Oh geez How did you do the uh the stadium oh That was only 90 seconds huh uh-huh oh Yeah after every single shot it was a Dead battery yikes i went through 11 Batteries well maybe it's a really Efficient 2s battery i don't know I think they're focused on flight time Not performance and that's kind of like Cinewoop is all about performance you Know so it's just controllable Performance you know yeah it's all about Slow and smooth but sometimes you have To shoot a gap and it's a long gap and You have to cover a lot of distance you Ain't doing that on a 2s battery so

But anyway i kind of Yeah Um Yeah um i will say uh you know kind of Going back to this i do think cinewoop Is a good opportunity and is an Evolution of the skills we've mentioned The layout um as far as what direction To go personally i would focus on Industries that are really More in the adaptation phase of using Drones or the exploratory phase of using Drones I think construction I think solar I think commercial roofing inspections Might be the next big Low-hanging fruit for everyone in all Honesty and i and i'm also trying to be Very objective in that that is not Because we do have a new course coming Up um i just see more and more companies Taking this on and so that's kind of why I'm like this makes sense so well yeah And that's sort of a carton uh horse in The cart question too because One of the reasons we might do a course Is because we see something that's Coming not not to create the industry But to aid the industry and bring it Along right but one of the things that We've mentioned in this Type of podcast before and by type i Mean the subject matter

When it comes to answering this question Is One of the best things that you can do Number one is is do something you enjoy If at all possible But number two is What contacts do you have That will speed up the process of Getting into whichever of these Verticals you decide to go down for Example if you know somebody that owns a Big construction company And you know they're not getting the Value from drones that they can slash Should You should be at their doorstep this Afternoon So a lot of it depends on who you know And where can a door be where's the door Already open or at least A little bit open versus a door that You're gonna have to kick down yeah Utilize that existing network that you Have you might not think it's relevant But you never know how you could talk to Someone Open up a door and maybe they know a Person or two people or three people and You know it's all about relationships i Think sometimes we get lost in the weeds Oh this person just does that right well Yeah don't assume yeah don't assume yeah Assume the positive not the negative If you're ready to

Scale your business you need the right Systems to do it check out the business Course on props where it helps you Implement all those autonomous systems In your website you might find it useful There is also a business course on drone U something we want to update here in The next couple years but we do uh Really appreciate your questions Another question i would love love love Love love to hear and i'm actually Really curious so this is a total switch Track offshoot we're in the post game Here of this question rob i'm curious on Your thoughts I want to bring this up on our walk and I forgot Remote id uh remote id Is going through On the survey if you remember we were Very specific to ask our user base this Was last year's survey Of do you think Other pilots will comply with remote id And i feel like in the last couple years We have ridden a wave Of government entities Trying to claim power that they do not Have and we simply comply and thus it's Okay Um I think I'm curious what other pilots are Thinking when we know drone pilots are

Being accosted shot at etc and some of These more rural jobs okay Would pilots comply with remote id um Because i know if i'm gonna work in an Area that i'm new to i don't know it Very well there's not a set up means of Communicating with local neighbors et Cetera Um I might hide my pilot location because i Know that the federal case lost in court And i think the judge completely missed The boat i i'm actually surprised this Is a federal judge to be honest with you I think the intellectual research and Curiosity was non-existent because it Comes down to a license plate system Right You pass some old person going super Slow and the right hand lane and they're Pissed because they're trying to slow You down and control traffic and whatnot And it's like you're not the police move Over you know and then they pull your Their phone out and they start recording You while they're driving Okay who cares i have a license plate They don't know where i live Right now You fly a drone uh to do a roof Inspection and the neighbor thinks You're spying on someone because they Don't know that you're there for the City and they pull up some app and pull

Up your location And go try to fight you because they Think you're doing something nefarious They're making a decision on emotion not Intellect or research i can see a lot of Pilots just saying yeah i don't know if I'm going to comply i could see that in Certain cases i could see a lot of Pilots say no i want to comply because i Want to normalize this and utm and blah Blah blah blah but i'm really curious Because i think that there are Definitely some instances and i'll say It on the show that like if i'm doing a Power line inspection In rural areas of certain parts of the Country i am probably not going to Comply with remote id because i don't Want to get shot like period north of Where we live Yeah so north and west wellington Yeah that's not very far north either no That's what i'm saying wyoming holy cow It's only an hour away yeah so uh yeah Wyoming where Where bullets fly a little bit more uh Easily Than they do elsewhere a little loose With that trigger feeling That's where i would be like yeah no so Well i mean i don't know the answer to Your question i at this point i put it At 50 50. that's the safe answer because I don't know i don't

Um I think that i think that most people The desire is to be law abiding right And so when you talk about the Government sure when you talk about the Government not having Power trying to overstep once it becomes A law it becomes a power in a sense Right And so i think that's what we're what We're getting to with this and so they Will have the power Uh i don't know i mean it's apparently All the resources are going to the irs So i don't think there's going to be any Resources going to uh oh jeez go ahead i Don't let's not go down that road but Just as a matter of um Reality in the federal government's Ability to To back this thing up i just don't know Because again i do not think and this Isn't the ability to enforce remote id The ability to enforce it and i do not Think local law enforcement is going to Give a crap Especially with the low levels of law Enforcement they it's like everywhere I mean literally the neighbor That uh the neighbor who literally just Moved in on the corner ex-chief of Police of a certain particular east Coast city you know he's like no i'm Done i'm done i'm not doing this when

Government doesn't have your back you're Practically a pawn in a game that you Can't control so that's scary it is Scary I feel bad for those people that's why i Love props public safety like i want to Help the people Who are like you know what i am in this For my community i'm going to help my Community i'm going to support my Community well you know what sir or Ma'am i want to support you so Um It's a it's a difficult time america was Built on the Ideology rob that If uh Good men say nothing evil prevails and America was built on the ideology that If laws Were implemented that were not Reasonable would go back to no taxation Without representation right in 1913 They totally violated that but people Complied unless it became law in the 1770s 1780s people did not comply and Things did not become law and one thing That i think i've learned from my dad as A lawyer Is that The law is only as good as the ability For people to comply And sovereignty is only as good as the Credibility of one's sovereignty meaning

That people have to See your sovereignty Um like for example i accept it accept It and not breach it and i'm not just Talking borders here um You know so i think that i think that's Something to consider And i think you brought up a good point That the point is to be law abiding Because we're not trying to we're not Trying to fire up a hornet's nest here We want um structure We want the evolution of the industry But we also don't want to be shot at and Personally threatened Just to go do something that's very Useful or fun You know so um and i when i think of Remote id The judge completely missed the point of A license plate it's like license plate Has inherent privacy for the driver Same as a drone pilot so um i'm really Bummed that rupret and that race day Quads team lost Um i think that this issue will have to Be further fleshed out unfortunately It's probably going to be at the cost Of Pilots so anyway Yeah i i hope not i mean because as We've learned a lot Frankly it's sort of become the american Way but we're very reactive

Um Even like well i don't want to go down That road so we'll have to see hopefully Hopefully bad things don't happen that Lead to questioning the uh the original Setup in the first place well yeah Because the idea is to support more Advanced operations right and like and That auvs i was like this is great i'm Like well this shows who you support uh But at the same time like is it great i Mean it's 90 great it's 10 so Uh and uh unfortunately you know The ten percent is applicable to ninety Five percent of the pilots And these bigger firms represent a very Small portion of pilots so You know it can it could be a very very Interesting time luckily we still don't Have a full year until this takes place So maybe there might be another legal Challenge But um The effort probably not though yeah but Until the faa gets 86 000 new agents uh It's going to be interesting to see how This happens so Um I'm really worried for the state of our Country and it's so hard not to go down All those other ways Yeah i can't get political if you are a New pilot focus on these things Communicate with people you'll be fine

Avoid rural areas for your first mapping Missions you're gonna need you're gonna Need practice and conflict management And avoidance this is the nature of any Job uh you know surveyors have dealt With it for years police have dealt with It for years crap pnm and the guys who Check meters have had to deal with it up Until this day you know so true it's It's the nature of the beast it is Overcomeable and um yeah we appreciate The question so if you have a question Ask adroni.com [Music]