How I made $50,000 in 7 days with a drone (not taking real estate pics and videos)

How to make money with drones

I made over $50,000 in 5 days with a drone. It’s super easy and takes little time. Most of the people doing what I’m about to tell you are making a killing and are trying their best to keep it secret from others. I’ve been there done that so here’s step by step how to do it. Enjoy :-) If you like this idea I’ve got plenty more here.

I’m a hustler. There’s no denying that. As such, everything that I write about is stuff that I’ve actually done. I do not sit back and theorize about whether or not something will work.Most wannabe entrepreneurs sit back and make up excuses why business ideas won’t work. The common thread among these wannabes is they never start shit. They leave a trail of excuses and are voted most likely to be career employees.

What follows is a step-by-step guide describing exactly how to make $50,000 in 7 days or less. For me, I did it in about 5 days.

Step 0 — Buy a Nano Drone. You know the small drones that fit in the palm of your hand. These little babies are extremely hard to fly indoors. Once you can fluently fly the drone indoors it’s time to move on to the bigger/badder DJI drones.

Step 1 — Buy a drone. A Drone with a 4k camera. Nothing less.

Step 2 — Buy an IPAD. You’ll need one to use with the drone controller.

Step 3 — File for Part 107 exemption. There are laws in place. To be clear, the distinction comes down to this: (1) you don’t need to have an government exemption if you’re simply flying for a hobby, (2) if you’re flying to make money, then you need the exemption.

Step 4 — You have a choice here — create a company or not. On one hand you can simply form a DBA under your own name, name it whatever you want, and then head off to the races. However, these drones can cut a person’s head off. If you form a DBA under your name and your drone hurts somebody, your house and all your assets are fair game in court. Preferably, form an LLC. This will protect all your personal assets. In the event someone gets hurt, they can only sue for what your company owns.

Step 5 — Create a website or not. It doesn’t really matter. What you really need is footage of you flying the drone, showing what you can do. In other words, don’t spend any time trying to make a pretty website.

Step 6 — Logo + Biz cards. Obviously, if you’re serious about making big money, you need to be professional. Get a nice logo made and get some business cards made. You’ll need these for your sales calls.

Step 7 — Practice flying. In the beginning you need to fly your drone everyday. For hours. Do this for about a month until it becomes second nature. After that, you’ll be able to fly damn near anything.

Step 8 — Scout out the territory. You’re making lists of energy company, power plants, oilfield operations, and wind farm facilities. These are the places that can pay huge money for a quick days work.

Step 9 — Visit all of these facilities. You’re not going to get a bite on all of them, and you won’t know which places are interested until you go talk to them. When you approach these people, you want to get to a decision maker. You’re wasting your time if your giving a 10 minute sales pitch to a secretary or entry level nerd.

(a) Energy companies. I worked for a Fortune 500 energy company. These companies use boilers to produce electricity. Very frequently these boilers go offline and are unable to produce electricity due to malfunctions in the tubes inside the boiler. The “OLD SCHOOL” solution has up until recently (and really still is) to build scaffolding inside these boilers and then have human workers crawl around inside there to look for leaks/issues/what have you. Thus, there are some problems presented (1) insurance issues (obviously), (2) high danger element, considering it’s pitch black inside, (3) as well as the potential risk in case someone were to fall and get hurt. These you can easily charge $15,000 per day. All you do is fly the drone inside of the boiler, take pics, make vids, and that’s it.

(b) Oilfield companies. You can do inspections. The government recently passed a mandate that requires all oil companies to test the air for emissions. Note — if you end up landing a contract with an oil company for this, you’re going to need to buy the DJI Matrice and fit it with a flir camera. Email me if you want to know more details. Onward. The best option is flying & inspecting short pipe sections (think 10 miles or less) where you can compete with airplanes.Your pitch here is easy. Charge them half of what they’re paying to the airplane guys. Simply say “I’ll only charge you guys half of what you’re paying the airplane folks”. That’s it. There’s big money here. Think year long contracts, valuing over $100,000.

© Windfarms. This is another area where I’ve done inspections. There is some competing technology emerging in the form of high powered, ground-based cameras. If the windfarm is using this technology, you wont’ have any luck. If they aren’t then you can expect a cool $10,000 or more from inspecting the boxes up top as well as the blades.

(d) New Construction projects. This is an alternative to doing inspections. One which can make a serious amount of money just on its own. Look for new construction projects around your city. When you find these places you’ll notice some trailer houses at the project site. This is where the project manager (decision maker) will be. Remember to bring your Ipad so you can show him some pics and videos you’ve made flying your drone. Anyways, these project managers absolutely love to see time lapse photos and videos of their various projects. Traditionally, the project managers have to negotiate with adjacent buildings, in hopes that the adjacent buildings will allow the project manager to rent out space on top of the adjacent building to put a camera (that will take time lapse photos of the construction site). These adjacent buildings charge upwards of $1,000 per month for this.

Your angle is this: you will provide twice a month or once per month service, taking pics for all four corners (north, east, south, west) of the project and will also take an orbiting 360 degree videos twice per month or once per month. Whatever the project manager wants. You can charge $500 or so for this. To be clear, this will be recurring work for however long the project lasts. So if it lasts two years and your doing just one job once per month you’ll easily make ($500 x 24 = $12,000). It will only take you 30 minutes to perform this job. YOUR GOAL IS TO STACK MULTIPLE PROJECTS LIKE THIS TOGETHER. 30 MINUTES = $500.

Sandra Upson Steven Levy