Alan Perlman

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Posts posted by Alan Perlman


  1. Yah, this is a super loaded (but always fun to wax philosophical on) question.

    Replace "drone pilot" with "painter" — there are licensed and insured painters that get stuck in Craiglist / Thumbtack-land where it's a race to the bottom, and the painter can only sustain small paying gigs here and there. But then there are painters who stick with it and keep honing their craft. They know more than all other painters in their local geography. They've built a large network, have an impressive portfolio, online marketing presence and offline sales process and strong client delivery SOPs. They're painting commercial buildings and getting longer-term and larger contracts.

    OK, maybe not the best analogy, but I'm trying :) There are a myriad of opportunities out there. But, just getting certified and buying a drone won't get you any business. There's no easy money in this (or any service-based?) industry.

    It's the months and months and months of networking and business-building that'll make one pilot successful vs. another. I continue to be amazed by our students that are out there hustling and finding great work. The opportunities are out there. But they won't be handed to you on a silver platter.

    • Like 1

  2. 20 hours ago, Bruce Hartwell said:

     Please note, I am not advocating a complete elimination of all restrictions, I am advocating a fair access and use policy that would allow camera drones to operate with the purpose of recreational photography in areas and in ways that do not unreasonably impact other visitors, wildlife and local manned aircraft. 

     

    Amen to this — I'd love to see an opportunity to get some kind of drone permit rather than a blanket ban, which we're seeing far too many of at the local level like this.


  3. 12 hours ago, Jane said:

    Hello @Alan Perlman, I will be in Kauai next month and am researching the same question - where can and can't I fly my drone. Are you able to update this feed with your experience from last year? Thank you so much! Cheers, Jane 

    Hey, definitely check out Shipwreck Beach. It's an approachable hike and a great spot to fly! Watch out for wind gusts :)

    I also found a couple of lookout points in the Princeville area that were fun to fly. There was a huge flood the week before we got there, so a lot of the island wasn't accessible and I couldn't explore as much as I would've liked, but some good spots to fly.

    Avoid the state parks! That's the big rule in the state of Hawaii.

    • Like 1

  4. Hi @aziz alenzi , thanks for posting. When the industry was starting to open up in the U.S. back in 2014-2015, I spent a lot of time on the phone with people. I asked them questions about what training they were looking for, how they planned to use drones, etc. I would highly recommend doing the same in Saudia Arabia to get a sense of what the local market demands are. You're lucky in that there are more mature sUAS markets like the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Canada, and many others with existing training companies. You can look to see how others are positioning themselves and what kinds of products and services are being offered, then adapt those to your local market.

    What you're talking about doing is not easy. It's going to be insanely difficult, and my guess is that there are already dozens and dozens of people trying to do the exact same thing, so you'll need to stay focused and to move quickly and persistently.

    I hope this helps! Best of luck and let us know how things go along the way.

     


  5. Hi all, I just got this email from one of our https://dronepilotgroundschool.com students:

    Quote
    Hey Alan, I just have two drones the mavic Pro and the inspire 1. I don’t have any regular cameras. Do you think it is still worth it to try to get into real estate? Thanks!

    Here was my response back to him, and curious how other pilots in this forum choose to weigh in.

    ---

    Hi there, both great models!

    "Worth it" is highly dependant on you and your goals as a 'dronepreneur' :)

    Some quick thoughts:

    • How will you ever know without trying?
    • Both models are perfectly suitable tools for taking high-quality aerial photos / video. I know pros who still use the Phantom 3, which isn't as strong of a camera or sensor set as your two options right now.
    • The magic isn't in the camera itself, but the post-production...see the latest videos in this thread and feel free to scroll back a few pages to see earlier additions. Some great professional real estate marketers sharing their videos!
    • It's a very consultative sales process — you're going to have to hustle and grind and keep building out your list of target clients and proactively reaching out to them to better understand what kind of service delivery (pricing, packaging, turnaround time, etc.) you feel comfortable with.
    • It's a young industry. There's a TON of opportunity out there, but it's not easy money by any means. Building any kind of service-based business is really tough.

    Hope that helps!

    • Like 1

  6. Hey @JohnyWalter — I'm not seeing a picture of your IACRA application.

    But yes, even if the certificate is 'pending,' you are cleared to fly as an FAA-certificated remote pilot.

    @David Blezard — interesting that the instructor told you could fly under 107 as soon as you pass the exam. That's incorrect. You need to wait 24-48 hours for the test score to make its way into the FAA's IACRA system, then you have to fill out that 10-15 minute application. THEN, you have to wait for 1) either the FAA to email you letting you know that the temporary certificate has been issued or 2) you can log into IACRA on your own semi-regularly to check whether or not your certificate is in a 'pending' status. Often that happens long before the FAA issues an email.

    Hope that helps to clarify!

    Alan

    • Like 1

  7. We use Google Ads — it's a big sales channel for our online FAA Part 107 test prep course., but that's because we were able to make the economics work. And, two years into it, we're constantly making tweaks, bid adjustments, etc. We've got an agency that we use for all of this, but if there's anything I've learned about using Google Ads, it's that it's very much an active channel that needs to be managed. And the economics don't always work, but it's fun when they do.

    My gut tells me that it wouldn't be a good use of energy or funds to be promoting your aerial services w/ Google Ads...and that you can get higher quality targeting through LinkedIn, Facebook, and a masterfully-built funnel where you're not just sending someone to your home page, or to a buy-now page...but to a free piece of content that helps them better understand the 'why' behind drones in their specific industry. Like you're taking out LinkedIn ads or doing targeting prospecting to folks in the construction industry...maybe you have a free branded report or video that shows the ROI of using drones in construction, or you're running a free Q&A webinar where you're interviewing one of your other construction clients. There's a TON of strategy around this stuff — when it comes to marketing, I like to advise companies that it's really important to have set up the party before the guests arrive. If you turn on paid ads and are getting guests into your house, but you haven't thought through what food you'll be serving, where the coats are going to be put, etc. then it's not an optimal situation.

    Hope these thoughts help! I'm not an Adwords expert by any means, and while we rely on it in our business I know from experience that it's not a great fit for everyone.