What do you do when you’re passionate about drones?

If you ask today’s guest, he would say, create a YouTube channel with more than 75,000 subscribers. Kelly Shores lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and two children. By day, he’ does video production. But in his off time, he runs a successful YouTube channel, called Ready Set Drone, where he showcases his drone experiences. Since 2014, he’s produced hundreds of videos, featuring product reviews, lessons learned and personal drone perspectives. As indicated, his channel attracts more than 75,000 loyal subscribers who tune in regularly to find out what Kelly is up to with drones. In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Kelly talks about how he turned his passion for drones into a successful YouTube sensation and gives some advice to others who would like to create their own on-line drone presence.

In This Episode

  • Introduction. Kelly Shores runs a successful YouTube channel, called Ready Set Drone, where showcases his experiences with drones. Since 2014, he has produced hundreds of videos, featuring product reviews, lessons learned and personal drone perspectives.
  • Ready Set Drone. In 2014, the first video that Kelly did was of the Proto X, which is one of the first tiny little drones that ever came out. The video didn’t get much attention, but Kelly kept producing shows. He bought a 3DR Solo and did an unboxing video, and it immediately took off. He was on to something. He found an audience that were interested in the Solo and how it compare to DJI’s Phantom of the time. He quickly found that when a new product is released, consumer interest is high and demand for his videos grows. So he started focusing on reviews of new products. He buys many drones, but he also receives drones from manufactures to review.
  • The Community. When asked why he spends so much time producing videos on YouTube, Kelly talks about his love of flying drones, the technology, the challenge of launching a successful YouTube channel and growing community around drones. As Kelly puts it, YouTube is not a video platform. It’s a community platform and that if you can get people engaged in watching you on a regular basis, things can really grow. Kelly is up almost every morning before the rest of his family and spend about 45- minutes going through stats and answering comments and direct messages. He really tries hard to engage with everyone, even those that share negative comments. The result – Kelly has more than 75,000 subscribers.
  • Challenges. Being primarily a hobby, the greatest challenge facing Kelly is finding the time to do everything he would like to with the channel. His balances a full-time career, family and his YouTube channel. Fortunately, his family is very supportive. His son and daughter participate in his videos. His daughter helps with the Instagram page. He credits his family’s support as a critical factor in being able to build the channel.
  • Memorable YouTube Review. Kelly’s most memorable review to date actually occurred recently. It was the review of the Mavik Air. What made it memorable was that DJI sent Kelly a preproduction model to review prior to release. That validated his channel and the track that his as taken in building his community.
  • From YouTube to Children’s Book Author. Kelly success on YouTube attracted the attention of a publisher that has asked him to write a children’s STEM Education book on drones. He hopes to finish the book in time for the 2018/2019 school year. A great example of how pursuing what you love can sometimes open a door to new opportunities.
  • Drone Buying Advice. Kelly advice to those looking for a drone is to buy a cheap drone with no GPS, and learn to fly, turn and hover. The goal is to be able hover a drone in front of you and rotate 360 degrees without losing control on your own without GPS. This will make you more confident and will improve your safety, as you’ll know what to do in any situation. Kelly has produced two related videos, called “7 Common Mistakes Beginners Make” and “5 Skills You Should Learn”. He also recommends learning how to fly a drone without using the headless mode, which automatically orients the drone when flying.
  • Top Drones for 2018. Kelly’s talks about his favorite drones for 2018 including the Mavick Air, the Bugs drones, Syma X5C and Force One drones.
  • Changes Since 2014. Since Kelly’s first drone video in 2014, drones have become a lot more mainstream, with opportunity for people to make that need to be informed of the rules of flying. As drone use has grown, so have the number of reported incidents of people flying where they shouldn’t. He feels there’s going to be a lot of things that drones can do that hasn’t even been realized yet and.
  • Questions. Kelly gets a lot of questions from viewers. Many times, times they want to know how far and how high a drone can fly. They also are interested in the range of a specific dron, and which drone is his favorite.
  • YouTube Lessons. Doing YouTube has taught Kelly the importance of building a community and being responsive to people who are tuning in. That means answering questions, being authentic and trying to help people find the information they’re looking for.
  • Future Plans. Kelly’s YouTube is a hobby, and he hopes that it will continue to grow and be self-sustaining. The channel has allowed him access to new drones, trip to New York for a launch event and it has led to the opportunity to write a book. In the short term, the channel has allowed him to pay for his hobby of flying drones.
  • Creating A Successful On Line Presence. To be successful on YouTube, Kelly feels on hast to be consistent with publishing videos and you have to offer something that other people don’t. You have to find a way to be unique and to stand out. Learn to embrace your own style and build upon it. He also involves his children, which many viewers like. And produce the kind of content that you would watch, because if you don’t like, why would anyone else want to tune in?

Mentioned Links