What is a Focus Group?
A focus group is a small group of people that are asked to share their opinions about a certain topic or product. Companies make use of focus groups as a tool for market research about existing or new products. Focus group participants are asked open-ended questions to gauge their feelings about different aspects of the product such as branding, packaging, and/or usability. A focus group discussion can also be used to determine political opinions.
Conducting focus groups is an effective research method for companies to gather qualitative data about products and services.
How Do Focus Groups Work?
There are two different kinds of focus groups. The first and most common type of focus group is an in-person focus group. For this type of focus group, you will be expected to attend in person. In-depth interviews take place, usually within a small group setting. Typically, a moderator or researcher leads the group with questions pertinent to the study. They will take notes, assess body language, and record the results. Focus group participants can talk to each other and share ideas and opinions.
How Do Online Focus Groups Work?
The other type of focus group is an online focus group. Group members join the Q&A session online via a chat platform. Before the session, you will receive a link to access the focus group and join the discussion.
Some online focus groups make use of video or specific web-based software. You will need to download this software before the focus group session starts.
Online focus groups are more affordable for companies. Therefore, more and more research studies are happening online. The great advantage of this is that a much larger population can be included in the focus group research study.
Do You Get Paid to be in a Focus Group?
Yes, taking part in focus groups is a great way to supplement your monthly income! Some researchers pay per hour, others pay a set fee for participating in the study. You can expect to earn anywhere between $30 and $150 for participating in a focus group. This is usually for no more than an hour or two of your time.
Researchers pay for your time in different ways. Most often, payment is via PayPal. However, it can also take the form of a check, a gift card, or points that you can redeem for a gift card. When product testing is a focus of the study, your payment might include free products.
How Do You Find Focus Groups?
To find focus groups in your area, you can do a Google search. Back this up with a look on Facebook to make sure that they are legitimate and worth your time. Here is a list of a few of the legitimate companies that conduct focus group studies:
Respondent facilitates market research in-person and online. Create your account and then browse all the open studies to see which ones you could qualify for. They accept respondents from all over the world. You can expect an average payout of $140 per hour!
Fieldwork hosts focus groups at many locations across the U.S, including Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. Focus group sessions are moderated by marketing research professionals. They normally last between 1 and 2 hours. Participants are paid in Visa gift cards and can expect $75 and more per study.
MindSwarms has a nifty app that you can download to your tablet or smartphone. If you qualify for a study, you will record your answers to the focus group questions using the software’s video function. They pay $10 for you to answer one question. Or, for 7 questions about a service or product, they pay $50.
4. Probe Market Research
Probe Research is one of the most highly-rated market research companies. They conduct group interviews online or by phone. You can expect to earn between $50 and $400 per study.
Swagbucks is mostly an online survey company. The average earnings for taking a survey are $1 – $1.50. This is not going to get you to your money-saving goal in a hurry. However, you can opt-in for studies and focus groups which will earn you significantly more.
This survey company also has opportunities available in many US cities, as well as online. Earnings range from $50 – $475.
7. Plaza Research
They specialize in in-person focus groups. You will receive payment directly after the session. For a 2-hour session, you can earn $50 – $200.
This is another top-rated focus group company. Expect to earn $50 – $200 for participating in a study.
Other focus group research companies that you can investigate include 20|20 Research, User Interviews, FocusGroup.com, and American Consumer Opinion.
How Do I Participate in Focus Groups for Money?
To participate in paid focus groups, you must sign up with a few companies that conduct focus groups. The target audience is chosen based on a set of predetermined criteria. These demographics include location, age, race, socioeconomic status, interests, and more. This means that once you have signed up with a particular online focus group platform it is not to say that the surveys will come flying your way. However, with time, there will be focus group studies that match your criteria. Taking part is easy and not time-consuming. As far as side hustles go, the earning potential is great!
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