The Drone Trainer Podcast – Episode 1
The Drone Trainer Podcast – Episode 1
Welcome to The Drone Trainer Podcast! Wow are we ever excited to be bringing you our brand new weekly podcast, featuring interviews with other likeminded drone pilots around the world! As the episodes go forward, Chris will be interviewing drone pilots in a variety of stages of their business, to try and learn their tips and tricks to help make you a better drone pilot and commercial operator! If you haven’t done so already, now would be a great time to subscribe to the show!
Today’s Guest: The Host of The Drone Trainer Podcast
This first episode is a little different than the rest as it’s a quick rundown of what to expect from the show, as well as Chris answering the same questions that will be posed to each of the future guests!
This is a brand new venture for us, and we’d love your support and feedback on the show! Please feel free to leave a comment below with your comments, and also if you could do us a huge favour and subscribe to the show in iTunes that would be a massive help. With all new shows, we’re going to need listeners right from the start in order for others to find us, so please be kind and hit subscribe in your podcast player of choice.
Anyway, here are the questions that you can expect to be asked in each episode going forward:
How long have you been working in the drone industry?
Are you going at this on your own or do you have a team?
What were you doing before you got into drones?
What drones are you flying?
How did you choose that/those drones?
What industries are you working in with your drone?
What benefits do you think drones have in that industry?
What is your favourite project so far?
What is your favourite piece of drone software?
What is your favourite business tool or software?
How do you price your services?
If you had to start all over again in a new town or country, what would you do to market yourself?
If you had to start all over again, what do you wish you would have done differently?
Where can people find you?
Connect with Chris
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Hey, everybody, how’s it going? Thanks for joining me on The Drone Trainer Podcast. This is episode number one. And so what I’m going to do here is I’m going to give you a little rundown of kind of what to expect from this podcast, going forward with guests and give you a little bit about myself.
Click the box below to view the entire transcript…
So going forward, what I’m going to be doing is interviewing other drone pilots from around the world that are working commercially, with their drones and people that are at a variety of experience levels. So sometimes it’ll be someone that’s just starting out, and then it could be somebody that’s been working for a considerable amount of time. We all know the drones are fairly new. So a considerable amount of time could be a year, but regardless, you’re going to gain something from everybody. What my hope is you’ll either pick up marketing tips or flying tips or anything along those lines.
For each interview, I want to keep things very casual. I don’t want it to sound very robotic, where it’s question answer, question answer. I want things to be more of a chat. Just keep things you know, as casual as I can, while still answering all the questions that I want to have directed towards everybody.
So before I get to interviewing anybody else, I want to give you the answers to the questions I’ll ask of other people, but answer them on my own. So first, I’ll start off just by saying I’ve been working in the drone industry now for four years started in January 2014. I got my start, just by I was reading an article online one night before bed, where I read about a realtor in California that was using something called a drone to take photos of his high value properties right on the ocean. I immediately started to Google it and I ordered one the next day with overnight delivery and it Just I just continued my business from there.
The first drone I had was the Phantom 2. I originally ordered to Phantom 2, but I received the one with the camera built in which I didn’t want because I didn’t like the way that camera looked, I preferred the GoPro on there instead. So I had to ship it back. So my start was delayed by a couple days, but it wasn’t the end of the world. Currently, we’re working in a very small team. So I’m the chief pilot and take care of a lot of the business side of things. My wife is also working with us as well to on some of the business side of things and the editing side. And then I have a couple of other employees as well too, that are out flying when we can’t and you know, working, you know, just to try and grow our business. prior to getting into drones at a, I was doing wedding and portrait photography. And I always also had an interest in aviation. So basically getting into or when I read about drones, I like was, you know, flying cameras, this is great. This is combining the two things I really love to do so it was really a no brainer for me to get into it.
Currently, we are flying the Phantom 4 Pro as our main workhorse. Prior to that it was the Phantom 3 Pro and then the Phantom 2. Before that, we ended up choosing the DJI drone drones just based off of reviews online and just the ease of use I relate DJI to kind of being like the apple of drones, the functionality is excellent, they all just they just seem to work right away without too much tinkering and too much farting around with them. So I’ve, you know, been a fan ever since the Phantom 2 and going through the two, three and four. And ultimately the five or whatever the next one’s going to be called was really a no brainer for us and probably won’t stray too far from DJI unless something drastic happens in the future or with regulations for where we’re going to be flying.
The industries that we work in are quite broad, do a ton of real estate so do it tons of commercial real estate and residential real estate and then providing various services to each one. A lot of the commercial side of things it’s just very just still photos is quite often what they want just input into their brochures and flyers and stuff like that. But often what we’re doing to is creating videos showing off you know, the benefits of the location, the roadways and traffic and stuff like that just to try and pump things up. And then similarly on the residential side of things we really like to show off the properties with drones and I don’t prefer the style of just flying high and over the property just to show like how wide everything is I like to get up close and personal with the with the property and show all the fine details and then of course get some of those wide shots as well to get those details.
Obviously with the Phantom 4 Pro I turn off the proximity sensor, I don’t want, I don’t want the drone to think I don’t want to be that close to something and send me away. So I turn that off, I know. Now, if I had the choice, I would have bought the Phantom 4 Advanced, because I don’t use the sensors and the other frankly, they’re a waste of money at the time. So going forward, if I need to get a replacement or anything, the advanced is definitely going to be what I’m going to go with the advantage that I think are that I think that drones provide to real estate and mapping and other areas that we work in our that you get a wider perspective, you can go anywhere from right close up and then you get a wide perspective. What I tell the realtors that I work with quite often is that you can take a picture from the end of the driveway and try and show the house and show you know it’s a great beautifully landscaped yard. But you don’t see the full picture of it. But when you’re in a drone, you can get nice and close to them of those features. And then you can fly away and zoom out, like basically create like a zoom out effect and show off the whole yard. So it gives you gives you the full perspective on what you’re looking at. And obviously, it’s worked out great for all the real estate projects we worked on, and basically the commercial and the residential real estate.
My favorite project so far it was a combination of real estate and development is we flew future views for one of the new towers right here downtown that is up to almost 800 feet high. So we had to apply for a special permit to get to be able to fly that high right in the center of the city. The application process was very smooth. And I think I can accredit a lot of that to our track record of safe flight and operations that the issuing authorities really had no issue with giving us the permit for it. It was very stressful when I was flying up at that altitude just amongst all the other buildings and things like that just in the back of my mind thinking You know, if it does fly away, where’s it gonna go? Like a variety of things like birds can come from anywhere, there was a lot of things on our mind. But it worked out great. And I was able to create panoramas of the future view from that 800 foot height or just underneath the 800 foot height. And the developer was just head over heels just to see what what that future view is going to look like. And they’ve used that in their marketing materials to to start selling those penthouse levels. So without one we did the top floor and then I think we did about 11 other floors just to show kind of the step or the I guess the difference between bear the varying heights didn’t do all of them. No, that would have been would have been okay to do I guess, but they just decided that they wanted every how many ever floor it was to divide it up into eight.
My favorite piece of drone software is actually a DJI Go 4. I use the bulk of the book My work is done and that I’d say probably 99% I’m a big fan of Autopilot and Litchi as well too depending on what I’m you know what I’m working on if I need some kind of automation Autopilot is my go to still fairly new to working with Litchi but it’s you know something that you know a lot of other pilots are very fond of and I think that it took off a little bit more than Autopilot did just based on the price but I know with Autopilot I can do basically anything I want on the automation side of things and I’ve been very happy with how that’s worked so far.
My favorite business tool or piece of software, I can speak to the editing side of things. I’m a big fan of Final Cut Pro for video and Adobe Lightroom for photos. I find the two of them. They’re almost well I guess I don’t know you’re either on the Final Cut Pro side of things or you’re on the premier side of things. I use premier sometimes for projects where I want to do a lot of overlays and stuff between premiere and After Effects. But my go to is Final Cut Pro. I started off initially with iMovie. And just the transition from iMovie to Final Cut Pro was fairly seamless. And it just opened up a whole new world of opportunity. On the editing side of things.
For pricing, I price per job. I initially wasn’t sure how to price my services. When I first got into this, I thought, you know, maybe hourly or whatever, but I didn’t know how long it was gonna take me to do anything. So I started off with a couple jobs by the job or pricing by the job and then a couple pricing by the hour. What I found when I was pricing by the hour is that sometimes people would try and push push me to get done quicker. And it’s, you know, it just came down to a flight safety issue where I’m trying to fly my drone around and I’ve got somebody breathing down my neck saying, Okay, that’s good. That’s you’re done. Like Hurry up, speed it up, whatever it Just, you know, as a recipe for disaster, it would have been, you know, I could guarantee that I would have crashed or somebody would have caused a problem or something, how do I continue doing it that way. So now I just charge per job. So I take into account all the travel time, what I’m going to be flying, how long I’ll be at the location, what they want me to create for them at the end, I take all of that together to come up with a package price for my services.
So we’ve been going for four years now, if I had to start all over again, in a new town or country. What I do to market myself is I would still use the portfolio that I’ve developed so far. I find a lot of the materials that I’ve got right now could be transferable to a lot of other locations. I’m sure I could just pick up and move to another spot, be able to show my portfolio to the decision makers and other companies, be it you know, residential real estate, commercial real estate, builders, developers, whatever it is surely them the work that I’ve done already, and obviously speak to the benefits that it’s provided my past clients, and hopefully be able to start to develop my business in said new location.
And if I had to start all over again, if I would, what would I do differently? I’d say that’s a tough one. It’s, it’s been, you know, it’s been a good four years now already. And I think that, you know, I could really, I don’t know, I could try and second guess a lot of the decisions I made, I could say, I should have done this, I should have bought that drone. I should have done something differently with it. But, you know, in reality, I think I think everything is gone quite well. One thing that I I might do differently is I might have just hit the street harder. I would have tried to market myself a little bit more. I found that I let a lot of business come to me rather than going to get it and that still works excellent. We don’t spend any money on advertising. We’re First hit in Google in our location, so I don’t have to spend any money on advertising. But I think that, you know, I, at the start, I maybe should have gone out there and maybe push it a little bit better. So that’s something that I may have done differently at the start.
And where can people find find us? Well, obviously, thedronetrainer.com is our drone training website, and we are on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, all at The Drone Trainer. So hit us up there, Instagram is one of our favorites. We love posting our own photos and then sharing photos from other people that tag us, then, you know something if we see a photo that we really love to, we’ll we’ll share it with our audience as well there too. So if you’re on Twitter, follow us there. Like to tweet a lot about news and stuff there. And then Facebook, we’ve got a quite an active community of other, you know, drone enthusiasts, drone pilots that are working in the commercial on the commercial side of things as well, too.
So that’s the rundown of the kind of questions I’m going to ask somebody about We see, I burned through these fairly quickly because I’m not there’s no interview going on this is just me just you know freestyling just solo right now with this I’m kind of like the one man radio show in the for the morning show or something like that on the radio. But the next the other interviews, it’s going to be a lot of you’re going to learn, you know, people’s tricks, what they’re doing with marketing, how they’re flying, how they got into it, why they chose their drones, things like that, that I hope you’re going to find interesting and, you know, be able to give you some value and things that you can take into action in your own business.
So until then, the episodes are going to come out weekly. So until next week, when the first episode comes out, I want you to have fun flying, and I know this is still early, but if you’d like to subscribe, just click on the subscribe button in iTunes or SoundCloud or wherever you’re listening, just to make sure you don’t miss any of the episodes. So until next week, within first episode, or I guess the second episode, this is the first one but the first interview, keep the spinny site up and we’ll chat with you then. Take care!