One of the top issues for commercial drone operators is building their business. While trained operators are skilled pilots with a lot of time invested in flight skills and aviation knowledge; the day to day sales, marketing and delivery involved in owning a drone business can be daunting. Attracting new business in areas like agriculture, turf management, or construction can be difficult, even when you know your flight skills are up for the job. Here are three ways to get new customers – in entirely new verticals.
1. Speak the Language
One of the first things you’ll need to do is learn to speak the right language. Every industry has their own – just as most farmers may not understand what you’re talking about when you mention gimbals or COAs, you may not know exactly what NVDI is either (it’s the Normalized Vegetation Differentiation Index, and it’s what agronomists use to evaluate crops.) You’ll need to make sure that you can use the right words and phrases on your website, in your marketing materials, and in your conversations with clients.
Don’t panic. There are tools available to help drone operators market their businesses: like Dronifi, a solution that includes customized marketing materials oriented around specific verticals, from agriculture to mining, construction and real estate. “Out of the box” customized materials let you present a polished and professional package for any vertical. Both you and the customer will learn the right language.
2. Make it Easy – and Valuable
Most customers want more than just raw data or imagery. In order to beat the competition, you’ll have to understand the customer’s mission – and provide exactly what they need to accomplish it. Customers need usable, actionable insights.
Partner with a provider that can take your data and make it actionable for your customers. Tools that help you provide not only analysis but offers sophisticated software to translate analysis into task lists and alerts will increase the value you provide to your customers. Provide them with something clear and easy to use and you’ll become an indispensible part of your customer’s business.
When you have the client, you’ve flown the mission, and you’ve provided actionable insight, you’ll have to deliver. When you are trying to grow your business and move into new verticals, you can’t deliver a memory stick – you need to up your game. Tools like Dronifi allow operators to fly their mission, upload their data, get it processed – and then present it to customers in a polished and sophisticated way.
The drone industry is growing and so is demand for professional operators and drone services. Make sure that your company is in a position to gorw into new verticals by choosing the right tools and partners. With a little help, you can leverage your flight skills to show value in any industry.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com