What are Paid Focus Groups?
First of all let’s get this straight! Paid focus groups are not like some of those cheesy online surveys that do nothing but waste your time and say they’ll enter you into some bogus $50,000 sweepstakes!
Nah it’s not about all that B.S. Paid focus groups are conducted by Legitimate Market Research Firms. And they’re willing to pay you an average of $25 to $200 for about 30 minutes to 2 hours of your time — JUST for giving your opinions.
Why you ask?… because your input helps their clients save money –And lots of it! These business clients that are seeking your feedback range from small to Large businesses.
What they’re doing is conducting marketing research studies to test (and gain quality feedback) about new products/services BEFORE they invest Big Money in a mass marketing campaign.
Simply put, these businesses are wise enough to know that your valued opinions could save them hundreds, thousands or even Millions of dollars in the long run. This is why they take the time to do market research. And fortunately YOU can get paid handsomely for It ~ It’s Quick & Easy Money $-)
How do they work?
Paid Focus groups (otherwise known as consumer discussion groups or market research studies) are generally done in person in a small group setting of about 8 to 12 people. In a way they’re kinda like ‘in-person’ paid surveys within a group setting.
But research studies don’t just stop at round-table focused discussions; these companies also perform paid taste tests, one-on-one interviews, website evaluations and mock juries. Upon completion of your focus group, you can expect immediate payment by cash or check (unless some other form of compensation has been arranged i.e. reward, gift, etc.)
How much can I get paid?
Most focus groups pay between $25 – $200 for about 30 minutes to 2 hours of your time.
How long does it take?
30 minutes to 2 hours is typical. However some studies can span longer (even days!), and of course these pay more for your time!
Can I register with multiple companies?
Yes, there is no limit on how many focus groups you can register with. The more databases you’re in; the more chances you’ll have to earn.
This sounds too easy…why are they paying me?
Don’t for a second underestimate the Power of Your Opinion. As a consumer you are very important, and you input helps businesses save money – And lots of it! These clients that are seeking your feedback range from small to Large businesses.
What they’re doing is conducting marketing research studies to test (and gain quality feedback) about new products/services BEFORE they invest Big Money in a mass marketing campaign. Simply put, these businesses are wise enough to know that your valued opinions could save them hundreds, thousands or even Millions of dollars in the long run.
So what’s the catch?
There is no catch. Many businesses are wise enough to know that your valued opinions could save them a significant amount of money. This is why they take the time to do market research and pay you well.
Can I really make a quick $25 to $200?
Yes. It happens everyday. And sometimes the pay is even more! $25 to $200 for 30 min. to 2 hours of your time is very realistic for paid focus groups.
How do I get paid?
Payment is generally paid by cash or check (unless some other form of compensation has been agreed upon e.g. reward, gift, etc.). Some will even offer electronic payment through PayPal or other, particularly for online studies.
When do I get paid?
You will generally be issued payment directly upon completion of the focus group.
Do I have to pay taxes on this income?
A focus group company will not require tax information from you unless you’ve earned $600 or more from them during the year. In other words, you can earn up to $600 per year from a focus group firm – before being presented with tax papers from that firm.
How often can I participate?
Usually, you will only be able to participate in a specific focus group once – or once per six month period. Market research firms like to keep their database fresh, and usually look for new people and opinions for each project. This is why you should sign-up with as many panels as possible to increase your earning potential.
How do I increase my chances of being accepted?
The best thing you can do is to register with as many focus group firms as possible. The more the merrier! This in itself will increase your chances of being accepted.
Other than that there’s really nothing you can do about this, you just have to be you. Different studies are looking for different things; they have different requirements. If you fit the profile for a particular focus group, they’ll contact you. If not, don’t sweat it, there’ll be others!
NOTE: Many research companies do not want “professional participants”. If you come across like “Oh I’ve done it all before I got this!” then they’ll probably steer clear away from you. I’m not saying that you should lie about the fact the you may have participated in focus groups before, but just don’t come across as a focus group “Pro” know what I mean?
What type of participants are they looking for?
Focus groups are conducted for just about everything you can think of: Foods you eat, beverages you drink, places you shop, lifestyle, etc. Most focus groups are consumer based i.e. they want to understand how consumers think. Basically, you just have to fit the profile & demographics of what a particular client is looking for. This will vary from project to project depending on the nature of the study and what is being examined.
When is this research done?
Focus groups are done at all times of the day including weekends. This makes it easy for people to squeeze it into their schedule.
How old do I have to be to participate?
You can be any age, dependent upon what demographic the focus group organizers are looking for. Opportunities exist for both kids and adults!
Is this a job?
No, it’s not a job, it’s an income opportunity. The only way it would be considered a “job” is if you were hired by the market research firm to conduct the focus group or something of that nature – or perhaps they made you an offer to participate in a study that would last weeks or months.
Otherwise, it’s just usually a one-time gig from time to time to make some quick & easy cash. In the majority of cases, you’ll be considered an independent contractor, not an employee.
Are there paid focus group opportunities everywhere?
Just about!… If one is not directly in your area, there’s probably opportunities in your surrounding area.
Will someone try to sell me something?
No! This is not a sales pitch; this is market research. Professional focus groups conductors never try to sell you anything in a focus group setting.
How can I tell if a focus group is legitimate?
You can check out a research company just like you could any other public company. One source to check is the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Also you can search for reviews or complaints about the company. But simply put, a legitimate focus group will never ask you for any money to participate. Remember: They Pay You! NOT the other way around.
Do I have to sign up more than once?
Nope! One sign-up per company is enough. If you sign-up multiple times in a database and come across as too aggressive, then you will likely get blackballed. Just register with each database one time and let the chips fall where they may.
It may be OK to follow up every now & then just to let them know you’re still interested – and to notify them of any changes in your contact information or profile, but other than that don’t be a bugaboo! This is something that you can not force. If you fit the profile that they’re looking for, they will contact you.
How many people are accepted to participate?
Generally, no more than 12 people are accepted to participate in any one focus group. Focus groups are traditionally known to be a small and “focused” setting.
Will I know which company sponsors the study?
Chances are that you will never know who is sponsoring a study beforehand. But sometimes they will disclose this information during or after the session. Privacy is of utmost importance with focus group firms. Many clients make specific requests that they want their studies done anonymously, due to market competition and other reasons.
Can I bring a friend to the Focus Group?
If they have been accepted for the focus group too, yes you can. Otherwise, generally, only approved participants are allowed in the focus group conference room.
Why haven’t I heard about this before?
Coz you’re weird!…nah just kidding;) Truth is they’re not widely advertised, but no doubt it’s very real! Usually people find out about this sort of thing by word of mouth, or though tiny classified ads that usually don’t stay up long.
Now that you’ve learned all about paid focus groups, signup for as many as you can so that you can earn great pay for your opinions – all while helping to improve the marketplace.