How Do You Get Paid for Focus Groups?
Focus groups are a great way to earn money on the side, but how do you get paid for focus groups? And what kind of money can you expect to make?
Before we dive into the good stuff, let’s talk about how focus groups work.
What Are Focus Groups and How Do They Work?
While there are many different types of focus groups, generally speaking, what you see on TV and the movies is pretty close to reality.
Focus groups are when a group of people gather in a room and are asked questions about a product/service/brand message and then give their opinions.
These groups usually consist of 8–12 people and are led by a moderator or moderators. The job of moderators is to ask questions and keep the group focused on the task at hand, especially because it’s not uncommon for focus groups to get sidetracked.
Sometimes one person dominates the conversation while others stay quiet, so it’s the moderators’ job to keep the talkative people from taking over and get opinions out of everyone.
Focus groups can also include the client who paid for the focus group as a member of the focus group, and sometimes you won’t even know it. Sometimes another focus group is watching yours and giving their own opinions on the subject.
Focus groups don’t always have to take place at a facility. Sometimes researchers will conduct in-home interviews where they speak just to you or your family in the comfort of your own home.
In other cases, called shop alongs, the researchers may follow you around as you shop in a particular store, asking you questions along the way. They might come to your home and ask you to cook a particular product or use a product you just bought.
You can even be paired with one or two other people — people you may even know well — and then be asked questions by a researcher.
It all depends on the focus group and the goals of the focus group provider and client. The kind of questions you get will also differ depending on the topic.
For example, if you’re being shown a prototype of a product, you’ll get to touch it and even use it sometimes, and other times, you’ll just get to look at it and be asked your opinions of it.
If the researchers are testing out a particular political message, you might just have to tell them if it resonates with you or not and why. In still other cases, you might be asked about your experience with a particular type of car that you own — what you like and don’t like about it.
Focus groups can get very specific in terms of topic and often pay very well if the subject is complex or the people who are knowledgeable about the subject are rare. For example, some focus groups want to only talk to doctors, whose time is very limited. These may pay very well to compensate them for their valuable time.
Why Should I Participate in a Focus Group?
The main reason that most people participate in focus groups is the money, but not always. Some people just find it interesting and have always wanted to be in a focus group.
It all depends on you and your goals. If you’re trying to turn focus groups into a full-time job, you’ll probably be disappointed. They can actually be harder to qualify for than you might think, and they usually only apply to specific groups of people.
Even if you belong to those specific groups, there usually aren’t tons of focus groups happening all the time. You might be able to do a few a month at best.
However, if you’re looking for a side hustle to make a few hundred bucks extra a month, then you should definitely consider participating in a focus group. It’s not like you’re doing something hard — you’re just being asked questions for anything from 15 minutes to an hour and a half. It’s rare that focus groups last longer than that.
How Much Do Focus Groups Pay?
How much a focus group pays really depends on a lot of factors. On average, most focus groups are going to pay somewhere in the range of $100–$200, but unless you fit into very specific categories, you’re not likely to get more than that. Be on the lookout for full-day or multi-day focus groups, though. They can pay as much as $350 a day or more!
Still, some focus groups do pay more than this. In fact, some very specific focus groups can pay up to $1,000. Remember though that this is rare. For the average person, focus groups are just going to be a way to get a little extra cash in your pocket — they’re not a way to earn a living.
How Do You Get Paid for Focus Groups?
And now to the big question — how do you get paid for focus groups?
Like everything else, it depends on the focus group provider, the client, and the type of focus group you’re in.
Some focus groups are going to pay you in cash if they’re in person. You might literally be handed a $20 bill after a 15-minute focus group.
In other cases, you might only get paid through PayPal, and you might have to wait 7–10 business days to get paid.
It’s also not uncommon to get paid with a gift card, which may be given to you right away or may be shipped to you later.
In still other cases, you might be compensated with a free product or a discounted/free service.
And if you travel to the focus group or are asked to purchase products on a shop along, you may be given a stipend up front for your expenses, or you might be reimbursed afterward.
Interested in Doing a Focus Group? Find One in Your Area
If you’re looking for a focus group in your area, we can help.
Click here to find a focus group near you.