Best ways of making money with your 360 camera?
Hello, friend, and welcome back to episode number 24 of my 31 day challenge where every single day, I'm answering your questions about creating a career or a business that you love and in today's episode, I'm answering the question, what are the best ways to make money with your 360 camera? So we're gonna dive into all of that good stuff in a minute.
If you've got your own question, you can reach out and ask it to me on social media at alexmakesvr on Instagram and Twitter. If you've got a longer question, you can ask at firstname.lastname@example.org and every single day, I'm sending out a daily newsletter to remind you when these episodes go live, but also just to give you a bit of a recap about what I talked about in the episode. So if you want to sign up for that, you can do that alexmakesvr.com.
This is a full transcript of the podcast episode, instead you can listen here:
Today's episode, we are looking at the best ways to make money with your 360 camera. So this one is a bit going to be more of a bit of like a high level overview of the different ways that I see you making money with a 360 camera and obviously, this will really vary depending on you as a person, depending on the type of work, you want to do all of that stuff, what you're interested in what kind of camera you've got all that kind of stuff. But as a general, as a generalisation, let's say the key ways that I would suggest making money with your 360 camera and these are going to come as no surprise to people that have listened to all the previous episode.
Number one is probably going to be things like training videos, like 360 training videos. Number two would probably be virtual tours with 360 photography and kind of like a cross between virtual tours and 360 photos for businesses and the difference may be with them being that a virtual tour is obviously like a complete walkthrough of a place whereas 360 photos for businesses might be for example to upload for their Google profile, which then will promote them to be one of the businesses listed first on Google because Google's algorithm favours companies that have 360 photos of the premises inside. So that might be good for like, cafes, or restaurants or gyms, that kind of thing. Whereas virtual tours, probably more so for things like real estate and art galleries, and construction sites and things like that, so training virtual tours and 360 photos.
The next one's probably a bit little bit of a curveball, because I don't think I've ever talked about this on the podcast yet, but is repurposed 360 for social media. So I would say it'd be, I mean, I've, I don't know anyone really, that makes 100% of their revenue from doing this but a massive benefit of 360 cameras is the fact that they are so high quality and you can do so much with the footage, you can get such cool shots that you could very easily sell kind of social media clips, or do kind of shoots for clients or brands that involve some 360 footage, or videos, or photo, sorry and so it's kind of it's it's the 2d version of 360. So for those of you don't, I mean, I'm talking about like tiny planets, I'm talking about the invisible kind of like, stick trick where it's kind of looks like that there's like a drone following them, but it's not it's just that they're holding a selfie stick with 360 camera on the end and through the magic of post production, it looks like the selfie sticks, not there. All of this, you know, hyper lapses look in credible, like just all kind of reframed 360, that would be a good thing to look at.
Then the last one probably building on yesterday's episode is stock footage. So those would be my key areas. So let's dive into that.
First up, training. I think when we think about what 360 is good for, I tend to come back to the idea of you either need to be there or be them. With training, you're kind of like a little bit of both. But predominantly, the training element, depending on kind of obviously, there's lots of different kinds of training within training, say training, one more time training. But predominantly, I like to think about it in ways that you can be there without being a danger or a nuisance to anyone, right. So how to put this...when I do talks about why 360 is good for business, generally, it comes down to something that is dangerous, something that is impossible, or something that is expensive. So training can be any of those really, the dangerous might be you're doing training for something like hazard awareness training, like a one on one, you're on a construction site, like, you know, don't stand under the crane and obviously, if you've got 360 camera, you could do some really cool stuff with like, showing what would actually happen if you were in an accident, like on a construction site. So that could be really shocking. And something that would be totally dangerous to actually do in an actual training scenario, or in a traditional film, it wouldn't be as impactful, you know, you can get someone to actually have that experience. So dangerous is really good. So dangerous, could also be things like training firefighters, or training police officers, like all that kind of stuff and the impossible. So a great example of that would be if it's like a future piece of tech or a place that does not exist yet. It could be the impossible could be things like, like...how often it's related to like space. So like an astronaut, for example, at the moment, and I'm sure they're not going to be replacing - oh, no, actually a better one would might be might be a like a flight simulator, which is kind of a combination of the dangerous and the impossible. So for example, like Virgin Galactic with Barium have like, and I think they're close to it now on a like commercial flights to the kind of the, the atmosphere or like beyond the atmosphere, or I know, they're a bit like Musk, where they want to kind of get people commercially to pay to go to the moon and things like that. So that, I mean, that's going to be pretty impossible until it actually exists. So how might they go about training someone in that scenario, or training someone about like, or giving someone like an overview of like the vision for that project, without actually kind of having it there in front of them? Well, they could build a VR simulation of it and to be fair, I'm going down that rabbit hole, and I shouldn't be because actually, that's more VR than 360. So let's scrap that. But that might be if you're interested in that kind of thing, like the impossible is a really good use of VR in general. But let's for 360, because this is about best ways to make money with your 360 camera. So the dangerous, so putting a 360 camera in a situation where you would never want a human being to be and kind of obviously, you don't necessarily want to ruin your camera but there's things like you could, obviously there's like loads of stuff around like car accidents and things where you can have the 360 camera in the position of someone who's like the the victim of things like that and that is just something that you would never, unless you had a crap tonne of money to put towards stunts and hiring professionals for that you would just it would just cost a lot of money to like put an actor in that position, whereas you can now actually put the camera there and all of a sudden the user can have that exact experience. So it's totally different than just being a bystander. So the dangerous the expensive. So a lot of training comes down to this, right? It's like, it's quite expensive to like replicate large scale training scenarios where you have to have roleplay, for example.
So a really good use of 360 is, let's say a role playing of a role playing scenario about unconscious bias, and how that affects people in the workplace. Could be about bad leadership, you know, and you put the 360 camera in the position of like someone who's going through that or maybe even you like switching and you have it like from both points of view, but you get to put someone in someone else's shoes. So that's a really good use of 360 cameras to do that kind of training experience. And like when I say training, I also mean like inductions. So things like, again, like when an employee, generally speaking, when an employee goes to a new company, they have to do loads of training, before they're allowed to do anything, don't they? How do you make that training more engaging? Maybe you could do induction training? So it might be induction to a specific site, so instead of...I think I talked about this in another episode, but instead of having to like, for example, shut down the whole of a warehouse so that people can get up close and personal and get to know the different machines and, you know, see the environment, which they would have to do in small groups and there would have to be someone there to take them through that. And they would have to potentially shut down certain parts of the warehouse for it to be safe for people to go by, and that kind of thing. So maybe you do it with a 360 camera instead? And then you've done it once and something that was quite expensive to do, and is now really scalable, and you pay once they pay once and it's you know, it's kind of theirs forever, and they can roll out and they could have 1000s of people watching it at the same time rather than a small group doing it. So that's a really good example.
Okay, outside of that, let's talk about virtual tours and 360 photos. So again, I'm not going to talk in too much depth about that, because I've talked about that in enough of the previous episodes, but again, we are heading into a time where it is more apparent than ever, that people need to digitise as much of their business as possible. There needs to be, especially if you're a location based business, or if you rely on people coming to your location, there needs to be some way of having that experience without actually being there. So things like you know, virtual tours of event spaces, virtual tours of real estate, when people apparently one of the biggest users from the very beginning when 360 first came about, one of the biggest users has always been big real estate companies that sell to foreign investors. So I'm sure it's no secret to anyone but a lot of the multimillion pound houses and flats and things in London are owned by foreign investors. Because I mean, yeah, makes sense, doesn't it? But so for example, if someone in China wants to buy a flat in Mayfair for added a million quid, but they're not going to spend all the money to come all the way to England to look at the flat are they like, well, it's very unlikely and in fact, it would make more sense and they would probably much prefer to be able to look at have had the same experience like feel like they're there get get to really see the property all like ins and outs, not just some wide angle lens photos, but clearly doctored and made to look beautiful to try and sell a place like with a virtual tour. It's way more genuine and there's been studies to suggest that people really trust 360 photos, way more than video and vote normal photos, which makes total sense. Because you can't really hide that much, there's a level of authenticity to them that you can't get with just a traditional photo video and yeah, that foreign investors going to then get a good sense of the place. And then I've heard like several anecdotes about investors that have never even seen the place, and they'll just buy it based on a virtual tour. So all of a sudden, your virtual tour that you've done for, you know, three, five grand, whatever it is just made that real estate company, well, you know, sold the place for a million and whatever their cut is like... I don't know, real estate, but I'm assuming at least 100 grand. So that's a massive one and again, the flip side of that being 360 photos, not necessarily just virtual tours, but I think a lot of people do Google streetview and again, I am not going to claim to be an expert in that because I've never done it but I've spoken to enough companies that facilitate that. So you take your 360 photos for Google streetview and then you upload them and there is ways monetize that. But I'm not exactly sure how to be honest, but the best way to do it is to promote kind of businesses and like I said Google's algorithm favours companies and and places of business that have 360 photos of their insides again, it's probably because of the fact that they're seen as more genuine and with Google world of not Google, well, Google Earth sorry, where they literally created a virtual tour of the entire planet. Their aim is to now get inside busy kind of places, because obviously at the moment, you can only see on the outside and obviously, you can have your own thoughts on whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. But either way, that's what Google are up to, so might as well lean into that make some cash and I'm saying, so, again, maybe and the way that you would sell that is by saying to that local business, at the moment, you're number three on Google, how much more business do you think you could do if you were number one, and actually, there's a good chance that having really high quality 360 photos on your Google page, will enhance your chances of being number one that combined with reviews and things like that, but again, like customers are going to get a much better sense of what the place is, like if they can see like inside. So that's a really good option, and repurposed 360 for social media.
So some of the biggest people in 360 space aren't even doing 360 as reframed. 360, right, so they're taking those shots from their 360 camera, and then they're bashing it out as either really engaging tiny planets or again, like they're using it like there's so many of the big huge youtubers now using 360 cameras as part of their, like, just part of their general gear. Like I've seen Peter McKinnon and Casey Neistat, like two of the biggest kind of video, well, vloggers but also video guys, using 360 without even really acknowledging that it's 360. Like I remember watching a Casey Neistat video the other month where he was on an aeroplane and he switches between, you know...this kind of, he's holding the camera up to himself, like - oh, I'm rushing to get on this plane and then he switches to a 360 view where he's doing the invisible selfie stick trick where he's holding it by his hand and he's like walking through the plane and it's such a cool shot.
And so there's like lots of different ways that you could use that and sell that stuff as part of social media packages. So I would imagine that that's only really going to be good for you. If you already work in kind of normal. I say normal, like traditional video and photos for clients, but for example, you could like add it on to if you're like a wedding videographer, you could like add 360 on to that service and you could have like reframed like cool different photos from that or you could even just actually have the 360 video of a wedding is like a separate kind of thing.
So there's lots of like different things that one, yeah, more. So you'd probably have to plug it in to an existing thing. Or maybe you connect with agencies and say, you know, these are the kind of shots that I could do and they might actually just hire you specifically to make those shots. So who knows, that could be a really interesting thing to explore.
And the last one stock footage, which I'm not going to go massively into, because as you know, I just did an episode about that yesterday, and we'll do a future episode with interviewing the founder of blend media about stock footage. But the reason why I included this one is because all of those other ones were service based, or kind of, you know, project based ways to make money but I think it's really important to also introduce the idea of passive income, and creating more productized bits of your company.
That's one thing that I wish I had learned a lot sooner is, it's actually really important, especially if your plan with your business is not necessarily to grow a massive business, but is to create a lifestyle business. So you're creating a business that works for you in your life. The biggest thing for me, the biggest realisation I've had, for years nearly into having my business is that I should have productised way sooner, and I should have built different streams of revenue that didn't necessarily require my time because your time is the most valuable asset that you have and if you enjoy getting out and working on on location, and you go enjoy going to different places, and you enjoy all those different elements of working with clients, which I did for a long time and I still do to some extent, that's great. But think long term about well, wouldn't it be nice to make money whilst you sleep also, and not massive amounts of money necessarily, but just little bits of money coming in whilst you're sleeping, that's great. And any way you do that is by having products and 360 stock footage is a product that you could get quite easily with your 360 camera. And also, there's something very nice about the fact that with 360 stock, it's kind of like a cross between doing passion projects, and weapon flying, so because it's like, you're going out and you're doing what you want to do, you're shooting what you want to make is you you have complete creative control over it, but ultimately, it does end up you know, being licensed and making money. So that's really good.
So I hope that helps us a bit of an overview about what I would consider to be the best and the easiest ways to make money, maybe I should retitle the episode, the easiest ways to make money with your 360 camera, because I would say those are it, there's obviously other elements to how you can make money with 360.
Listen to the Alex Makes VR podcast here
Subscribe to the newsletter here
Follow Alex on Instagram here