Buying a drone and becoming adept at flying it doesn't just give you a hobby that you can enjoy for countless hours — you may also have an opportunity to earn money. Drone operators who can shoot still images and capture video footage are desirable to many different individuals and organizations. A couple getting married might hire you to capture some shots of the outdoor ceremony from above, while a realty office may contract you to shoot aerial footage of homes for sale. You may also have an opportunity to make money by selling your footage to the local news media. Here are some tips for doing so.
Get An Emergency Services Scanner
Private citizens can buy scanners that allow them to monitor local emergency services, and doing so online is also often possible. This allows you to listen for any breaking news that you may be able to capture with your drone. While you'll obviously need to brush up on the rules for operating a drone in your city, you can react quickly if there's breaking news and travel close to the area to get your drone up in the sky. For example, if there's a barn fire in a rural area outside the city, capturing video footage and still images from several angles can give you material to sell to the TV station and the newspaper.
Develop Contacts At Each Organization
Media outlets want to report on things quickly, especially if they're breaking news. This means that you don't want to waste valuable time getting your footage into the hands of producers and editors. Research in advance who the best contact person is at each news outlet and have this information handy. When you're at a scene, you can send a quick email explaining what you're shooting and ask if the outlet is interested in buying it.
Set Your Rates
Sometimes, news outlets will have set rates that they pay outside contributors. In other cases, you can come up with a rate and negotiate it with each outlet. Remember to be fair if you want a longstanding relationship — if you're too expensive, a news outlet might not want to buy footage from you each time. A compromise might be a lower pay rate but the inclusion of your website as credit. In other words, when your aerial footage appears on the news broadcast, your name and website will appear below it. This can be valuable for getting people to your website and hopefully hiring you for other jobs.
Contact a company like Drone Shots for more information and assistance.