How to Make Money with Drones

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You’d be forgiven for thinking of drones as expensive toys for wealthy hobbyists. However, did you know that drones can also be used to make money?

Drones are becoming increasingly popular, and it’s no wonder; not only are they a lot of fun to fly, but you can also use them to generate a monthly income to fund your lifestyle!

Wondering how to make money with drones?

We’re excited to show you the possibilities. Drones can do amazing things, and with the right know-how, you can use them for business purposes and make some serious cash.

We want to help you start making money with your drone as quickly and efficiently as possible. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide of all the ways you can start a drone-based side hustle!

drone image of a beach and treess with boat and nipa huts

Arif Aerial | Unplash

10 Ways to Make Money With Drones –  TL;DR

1. Sell Drone Photos and Videos
2. Aerial Photography and Videography Services
3. Start a Drone-Based Business
4. Start a Surveying & Mapping Business
5. Start a Drone Inspection Service
6. Specialize in Search and Rescue
7. Teach Others to Fly
8. Take Part in Drone Racing
9. Start a Drone Delivery Company
10. Become a Social Media Influencer

Basic Requirements to Make Money With Drones

To start your own drone business, you’ll need to have a drone equipped with a camera and the ability to fly. You’ll also need to understand how to fly the drone and take drone photos & videos.

To sell your drone services commercially you’ll need to become a certified drone pilot and finally, you’ll need to find customers willing to pay for your services.

One of the best ways to find customers is to join a drone-based business directory such as Drone Services. This will give you access to a huge drone market and many customers looking for drone-based services.

Another great way to find customers is through online platforms. You can create a profile and pitch your drone services to potential clients here.

Once you’ve found a few customers, you can start charging for your services. For example, you could charge an hourly rate for drone photography or videography, or a flat fee for specific services such as event coverage or property inspections.

Making money with drones can be a great way to earn extra income. However, it’s crucial to ensure that you understand the laws and regulations surrounding drones before you start flying.

 beach drone picture with sand and stone and gold fish showing

Kushal Ghosh | Unplash

How to Make Money With Drones – 10 Profitable Methods

Drones are becoming more and more popular, and people are finding new and innovative ways to use them. Here are some of the most popular ways to make money with drones.

Whether you’re looking for a side hustle or want to start your own lifestyle business, these ideas are sure to inspire you!

1. Sell Drone Photos and Videos

One of the simplest ways to make money with drones is by becoming a drone photographer and selling the photos and videos you take.

Many websites specialize in selling drone footage, so finding a buyer should be easy. Make sure your photos and videos are high-quality before listing them for sale.

This is an excellent option if you have a good eye for composition and know how to capture stunning footage. Aerial photos and videography can be sold to individuals, businesses, or stock photo/video agencies.

2. Aerial Photography and Videography Services

Aerial photography and videography are two of the most widespread uses for drones. One of the most popular ways to make money with drones is by offering drone photography and videography services.

Drones equipped with high-quality cameras can capture amazing aerial footage that would otherwise be impossible or expensive.

If you have a steady hand and an eye for composition, you could potentially make a few thousand dollars per week with your drone photography business.

Offer your services online via sites like Upwork or Fiverr, or to businesses and individuals in your area. Just be sure to comply with all local drone regulations before getting started and remember to charge for your time and equipment rental fees!

Aerial Photography showing roof of buildings and parking lots with cars and some trees in between

Lance Asper | Unplash

3. Start a Drone-Based Business

There are many businesses you can start that revolve around drones, such as drone mapping, inspections, event photography/videography, and even agricultural applications.

If you want to capitalize on the growing drone industry, then starting your own drone-based business is the way to go.

You can start all sorts of businesses, from drone racing and repair services to manufacturing, drone deliveries and selling your own line of drones. With some creativity and hard work, there’s no limit to what you can achieve!

4. Start a Surveying & Mapping Business

Drones are increasingly used for surveying and mapping purposes. Companies in industries like land development, engineering, and construction use drones to save time and money on their projects.

If you have experience with surveying or mapping, or are passionate about geography or cartography, you can use your drone piloting skills to provide aerial mapping services. This is a great way to make money while doing something you enjoy.

Businesses and individuals alike are always in need of accurate maps, so this is a service that will always be in demand. Plus, it’s a great way to see the world from a new perspective!

Drone Image of skyways and roads with different type of vehicles

Brendan Beale | Unplash

5. Start a Drone Inspection Service

Another way to make money with drones is to start a drone inspection service.

Drone inspections are in high demand among businesses. Drones can inspect hard-to-reach areas quickly and safely, saving businesses time and money on their inspection needs.

6. Specialize in Search and Rescue

Difficult terrain or bad weather conditions often hamper search and rescue operations. However, disaster relief drones can access places that humans can’t, so they’re becoming essential in search and rescue efforts.

7. Teach Others to Fly

If you’re passionate about drone technology and love sharing your knowledge, you can make money by teaching others how to become drone operators.

This can be done either in person or online. There are several ways to monetize this activity, such as charging for lessons, setting up a subscription-based service, creating an online course, or simply offering your services for free in exchange for promotional opportunities.

You could even start a blog all about drones and monetize by offering your coaching, courses or affiliating for drone based products.

Drone image of a white rock castle on top of a mountains

Federico Di Dio | Unplash

8. Take Part in Drone Racing

Drone racing is growing in popularity around the world, with many races taking place on professional circuits as well as informal events organized among friends.

If you have experience flying drones and enjoy testing your skills against other drone enthusiasts, this might be the perfect way to make money!

There are dozens of drone racing leagues that you can join, and many of them offer prize money to the winners. This could be a great way to make extra cash if you’re a competitive pilot.

Consider joining a racing league if you have what it takes to pilot a drone at high speeds. You could win some big prizes and make a lot of money. Also you’ll find drone races being held all around the world – just think about where you could travel to while making money with your photography skills at the same time.

9. Start a Drone Delivery Company

Drones are becoming increasingly popular for companies to use as delivery vehicles. Albeit a relatively new business model, with the right licenses and regulations this is set to be an extremely lucrative stream of income as more and more companies adopt drones for logistics.

More of a heavy weight business model than others discussed in this post, you will need to get certified, apply for the relevant licenses and registration and ensure you have the right equipment.

In no time at all you could find yourself in the pizza delivery business!

Drone image of a clear blue beach water with white sand and stone formation on the side

Taylor Simpson | Unplash

10. Become a Social Media Influencer

A great way to make money with drones is to use your amazing footage to build an audience on Instagram, TikTok or YouTube. Post daily videos showcasing your drone skills and as your audience grows connect with brands to negotiate sponsorship deals.

Not only can this be extremely lucrative, but you could end up getting lots of drone equipment for free!

How to Make Money With Drones; Tips for Getting Started Today

As you can see, there are many ways to make money with drones. The sky’s the limit with this fun and fabulous business model.

If you’re thinking about starting a drone business, why not get started today? The sooner you get going, the sooner you’ll make money!

Here are a few tips to help you get started making money with your drone;

Research the market well

Before you start making money with a drone, you must research the market well. To start with you’ll need to find a niche market.

This could involve anything from aerial photography to real estate surveying. Doing your research and finding a market that is willing to pay for your services is essential. It’s also important to ensure that there is enough demand in your chosen market to make a profit.

Then you’ll need to identify potential customers and understand their needs. This will help you determine your services and how much you can charge for them.

It is also important to research the competition to ensure you’re offering competitive prices.

Invest in a good quality drone

To make money with drones, you’ll need the right equipment.

A good quality drone can take high-quality photos and videos, which is what you’ll need to sell your services.

It’s also important to ensure that your drone is durable and can withstand crashes since you’ll likely have a few while learning to fly it.

Get certified

To legally make money with your drone, you must obtain the proper certification.

Depending on what services you plan on offering, you may need to get certified to operate your drone commercially. This process can be time-consuming and expensive, but it is essential to avoid legal trouble.

This process is relatively easy, but it is important to follow all the steps correctly.

Create a professional portfolio

To attract customers, you need to have a strong portfolio showcasing your work.

Make sure to include high-quality images and videos that show off your drone skills. You can also create a website or blog to showcase your portfolio and attract more customers.

It’s also recommended to create social media accounts and post regular updates to show potential customers what you can do.

High Quality Drone Image of city with river under the road and tall buildings

Carlos Alfonso | Unplash

Find clients

Once you have your drone and certification, you’ll need to start finding your ideal clients.

This can be done by marketing yourself online or through word-of-mouth. You can also look for clients through drone-specific platforms.

Freelancing sites such as Upwork or Fiverr are also a great place to showcase your work and bid for jobs.

Negotiate prices

Once you have a client, you’ll need to negotiate a price for your services. This will vary depending on the type of service you’re providing and the client’s budget.

One of the most important aspects of making money with your drone is to charge appropriately for your services. This means doing your research to find out what similar services are being offered and then pricing your own services accordingly.

You should consider many factors when setting your prices, such as the time involved, the difficulty of the job, and any special equipment that might be required. Remember that you’ll also need to factor in the costs of operating your drones, such as maintenance, batteries, and insurance.

It’s important to be upfront about your costs so that there are no surprises for the client later on.

Get paid

After you’ve completed the job, you’ll need to get paid for your services. This can be done via an online banking app such as Wise, through Upwork’s escrow service, direct bank transfer, even Bitcoin. Whatever works for you.

Ensure you have all the necessary information from the client before starting the job so everything runs smoothly and there are no payment hiccups later.

Drone Image of A Sail Boat in the ocean

Clay Banks | Unplash

Stay up to date with the latest drone technology

The drone industry is constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay up to date with the latest drone technology. This will help you offer your clients the best possible services and keep up with the competition.

In addition, new cameras and software are continually being released, so it’s important to be aware of what’s available. You should also consider taking courses or attending Drone conferences to learn from the experts.

Offer additional services

One way to stand out from the competition and make more money with your drone is to offer additional services.

This could involve anything from providing aerial tours to delivering packages. Think outside the box and develop unique ways to use your drone to make more money. It’s also a great way of over delivering so your clients come back to you in the future.

Provide a quality service

Finally, providing a quality service when working with clients is essential. This means being professional, punctual, and delivering the finished product as promised.

A quality service will help to build your reputation and attract more business. It’s also important to make sure that you have proper insurance in place so that you are covered in case of any accidents.

Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to build a strong reputation that will lead to more clients and more money.

Drone Image of Trees covered in snow

Thomas Beckett | Unplash

Best Drone Cameras to Start Your Drone Business

To make money with drones you obviously need the right equipment and will need to shop around for the best drone cameras available.

Among the top contenders are the DJI Mini 3 Pro, DJI Mavic Mini, and Ryze Tello.

DJI Mini 3 Pro

The DJI Mini 3 Pro is the top-of-the-line drone, offering 4K Ultra HD video recording, 48MP photos, and up to a 31-minute flight time. Plus it weighs less than 249g, meaning you won’t need to register it to fly it in most countries or regions.

Its cleverly designed, foldable propeller system makes it great for traveling light. It’s also surprisingly affordable and easy to use, with an intuitive mobile app.

image of a drone Mini 3 pro with controlle

DJI Mavic Mini

DJI’s Mavic Mini is a lightweight and compact drone that takes excellent aerial pictures and footage. With a maximum flight time of 30 minutes and an ultra-stable three-axis gimbal, it’s perfect for those hoping to capture smooth, professional-looking video and photos for their drone business.

Image of drone Mavic Mini

Ryze Tello

For budget-conscious entrepreneurs, the Ryze Tello drone is an excellent choice. It’s significantly cheaper than the other two drones, yet it still offers a range of great features including 720p HD video and photos, plus a 13-minute flight time.

You can also access the drone’s friendly programming with scratch coding, which allows you to customize the drone’s flight path.

Image of drone Tello

All three drones offer awesome performance, portability, and advanced features to help take your drone business to new heights.

How to Make Money with Drones – FAQ’s

What Drone Jobs Pay the Most?

Drone pilots can make a good living by flying drones for various purposes. While the pay may vary depending on the job, most drone pilot jobs pay relatively well. Some of the highest-paying drone pilot jobs include agricultural mapping, photography, and inspection.

What is the Best Drone Business to Start?

Some drone businesses are easier to start than others. For example, if you want to become a professional drone racer, all you need is some experience flying drones and some competitive spirit!

However, if you want to start an aerial photography business, you’ll need more than just good flying skills – you’ll also need good photography equipment and knowledge about how to market your services effectively.

The best business to start depends on your skill levels and time investment. So think about which of the ways we’ve talked about above interest you the most and do your research before taking the plunge.

How much can you earn with a drone business?

Drones are becoming more and more popular for business purposes. There are many ways you can use a drone to make money, including wedding photography, real estate photography, and agriculture. How much you can earn with a drone business depends on what type of business you start, and how successful you are.

However, many drone photographers and videographers advertise their services anywhere from $50/hour to $500/hour. That’s a not bad hourly wage for a beginner looking to make money online.

Screenshot of Drone Photographers and Videographers in Upwork with their work rate and profile

How Long Does it Take to Become a Drone Pilot?

Becoming a drone pilot takes time and practice, but it’s worth it to have the freedom to fly wherever you want.

To become a drone pilot, you’ll need to learn about the different types of drones and how they work, as well as the rules and regulations that apply to flying them. You’ll also need to practice flying them so that you can control them accurately and safely.

Once you’ve mastered all of these skills, you’ll be ready to start flying for fun or profit!

To become a drone pilot, you’ll first need to get a Remote Pilot certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA requires that all remote pilots be at least 16 years old and able to read, speak, write, and understand English. To apply for your Remote Pilot certificate, you’ll need to pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved testing center.

Next, you’ll need to learn about how different types of drones work and their role in different industries. This will help you better understand what kinds of drones are best suited to which kinds of businesses or projects. You can find classes on this subject at local community colleges or online.

In order to practice flying your drone before putting it into use, you’ll need to find a safe and legal flying location. This may require some research on local laws and regulations regarding drone flight. Once you’ve found a good spot, you can begin practicing different maneuvers and controls until you feel confident in your abilities.

Overall, becoming a drone pilot takes time and practice, but the rewards are well worth it! So start doing your research today and get ready for take-off.

Where to Find Drone Pilot Jobs?

Drone pilot jobs are in high demand these days. Here are a few tips on how to find them:

1. Check job boards and classified websites like Indeed, Craigslist, and Monster for postings.

2. Network with people in the industry. Attend drone events and meetups, or reach out to drone pilots online or in person.

3. Contact companies that may need drone pilots for specific projects or tasks. Some companies that may be hiring include construction firms, agricultural businesses, surveying companies, and media outlets.

4. Create a profile on Upwork or Fiverr, describing the kind of jobs you can do and bid for projects.

Drone image of tall buildings in city vibes

Colin Lloyd | Unplash

How to Make Money With Drones – Summary

There’s no doubt about it—drones are here to stay. And if you want to get in on the action, there are plenty of ways to do it!

From selling photos and videos to providing services or becoming an influencer, there’s no shortage of opportunities for those looking to make money with drones.

I hope this article on how to make money with drones has helped. Good luck with your drone business!

Guest Author Bio

Alex and his team provide custom, high-quality aerial drone photography services, , interior and exterior Commercial Real Estate Photography and full-scale video production marketing services in Salt Lake City, Utah, the surrounding areas and beyond. Need them to come to you outside of the state? They can do that, too.