The following is a guest post by talented Part 107 Pilot and author, Kara Murphy.
You’ve purchased your first drone, or fleet; passed the Part 107 Knowledge Test; found an insurance provider; and even came up with a name that accurately represents who you are and what you do. Now for the most important step, besides the sales and networking aspect, in establishing a successful drone services business — the website.
Outside of your social profiles, your website is a central hub for communicating your values, relevant experience, what you offer, and how to get in touch. Done right, it will attract clients and encourage them to learn more, and potentially hire you. If it’s poorly executed, any leads that visit will be dissuaded and seek out solutions from a competitor.
As more people learn about the numerous benefits of drones, and get their Part 107 certification, it’s imperative to establish yourself online. Your website should include the following mandatory elements:
A Responsive Framework
The average American spends 2 hours and 51 minutes on their smartphone everyday. Potential customers might be on a desktop but chances are, they’re discovering your services on a handheld device or tablet. A responsive layout ensures that anyone reading your content isn’t squinting to decode microscopic text or scrolling back and forth to ingest a complete a sentence.
Fortunately, you no longer need a pricey designer and developer to build out a professional, responsive web presence. Website builder platforms such as Squarespace, Wix, and Weebly are affordable and possess a friendly user experience. Coding skills are not required to get the desired look and feel of a clean, modern look. While I’m not discouraging anyone from hiring an agency or full-time developer, it helps to take the do-it-yourself route when you’re starting out or budgeting for other areas in your business.
A Simple, Clean Layout
Inspired by my friends at Dronescape.tv and Toledo Aerial Media, I cut out a lot of miscellaneous text, reduced the number of pages I had initially planned on, and simplified the layout of my site.
Yes, you’re using cutting-edge technology and have a lot to share about your services. One important thing to remember is that anyone looking to hire you is only concerned about one thing: what’s in it for them. Brevity is best; the easier it is for them to connect their needs with your specific solutions, the better. A user should be able to scroll through the landing page, or be directed to a specific section via the navigation bar, and understand why your offerings are suited to their needs. They shouldn’t be overwhelmed with overly-wordy descriptions and flashy graphics.
Associations & Credentials
What separates you from someone who went out to Target or BestBuy, picked up a drone, and is now marketing themselves as a remote pilot? Unfortunately, as technology improves and prices drop, it’ll be easier for more people to create halfway decent aerial work.
By stating, boldly, that you’re licensed, insured, and experienced (savvy potential customers will aim to confirm the first two claims), you’re communicating that you follow the rules and regulations when it comes to operating your business. Most clients will not work with someone who carelessly conducts their business as they don’t want any liability.
Associations such as AMA and AOPA offer up numerous benefits. They advocate for ethical conduct, keep you informed on the latest developments, and provide educational resources to help you improve upon your skill set. I’ve joined several others related to my area of expertise because I never want to remain stagnant.
A Contact Form
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to conduct an extensive search for basic contact information. Most people don’t have the time. The option to get in touch should be clearly displayed in your main navigation bar and a contact form, phone number, and/or email address should be clearly displayed on your home page. You are not a gatekeeper, you are trying to solicit business. Make it easy for people to reach out and learn more.
I hope this helps anyone looking to get started or refresh their website. Please visit http://karaemurphy.co and let me know your thoughts by reaching out directly.
Kara Murphy is a Part 107-certified commercial remote pilot and freelance writer residing in Michigan. Follow her aerial imagery on Instagram and learn more, here.