Although you probably won’t get rich by taking part in focus groups, it is still a great way for you to make some additional income for a short amount of time, simply for being opinionated. You can easily earn $100 for one to two hours of work.
This article focuses on how to find paid focus groups in your area, and how to participate in them.
How Focus Groups Work
Paid focus groups offer you the chance to give your opinions as a potential consumer, and in return receive a small payment. Usually, they are conducted by third party organizations on behalf of the companies requiring the market research. These third party organizations will pre-qualify you for different focus groups, to see if you match the “target audience” for the product being discussed.
Finding Focus Groups
There are many different organizations that specialize in finding potential consumers to conduct paid focus groups with. To be considered, you must register with these companies and have your details put in their database. Fill in as much information about yourself as you can. The more details they have about you, the more likely you are to be chosen. When a suitable study comes up, they will contact you. In truth, you may not be called on a frequent basis, and the sessions can be few and far between. However, by signing up with as many companies as you can, you will increase your chances of finding regular focus group work.
Note that you should never have to pay to be part of a focus group or market research company.
Here are some resources for finding the focus group companies in your area:
Once you have registered with some focus group companies, you can expect to start receiving occasional calls or e-mails, pre-screening you for the sessions. Try to answer when they call, and make yourself as available as possible.
Answer all questions, thoroughly and honestly. Show that you are able to offer opinions and that you can communicate well. This is what the researchers will be looking for.
When You Get There
You will have to show your i.d. and fill out a questionnaire. Make sure you do not arrive late. Aim to be there 30 minutes before the starting time to allow for traffic or getting lost, and also the time it will take to sign in.
If you can’t make a focus group for which you have been scheduled, be sure to let them know as soon as you can. By showing up late or not showing at all with no notice, you may not be called by that company again.
During the Session
Sessions will usually take place in a meeting room. Often, there will be a 2-way mirror, with people monitoring the session, sitting on the other side and taking note of your responses. The atmosphere is usually relaxed and the conductor friendly.
Do not be afraid to offer opinions, as that is what you are there for. Be talkative, open and imaginative. It can actually be quite fun and the time tends to go by quickly. Generally it will be an hour to two hours long, and it won’t be until afterwards that you get paid.
Focus Groups can be a rewarding exoerience, and hopefully now you will be ready to get started.