Focus Groups: Earn Money for Your Opinion

In this tight economy, everyone’s trying to earn a few extra bucks. Whether you need extra money to finance the holidays, take a nice trip, or make ends meet, you can earn it with focus groups. Far from a get-rich-quick scheme or a fly-by-night scam, joining a focus group is a legitimate way to earn a little extra money. Participants earn anywhere from $50 to a few hundred dollars per session, so you won’t get rich, but you just might be able to afford a little something extra.

What Are Focus Groups?

If you have an opinion and aren’t afraid to express it, you can get paid for focus-group work. What is it? Basically, focus groups are formed whenever companies wish to market a new product or upgrade an existing one. By presenting their product to a few people – the focus group – and getting their opinion, marketers hope to gain an overall perspective of how their product will be received by the buying public.

How Do They Work?

Focus groups bring together a diverse group of people in an effort to ascertain how they feel about a particular product or service.  Most focus groups follow the same pattern. This is what you can expect:

Initial contact – When you’re first contacted by a company for a focus group, they will generally ask you a few questions pertaining to what you already know about the product or company. During this initial screening process, the goal is to select a group of people that best represents the public at large.
Testing – All focus-group members generally meet at the same time to “experience” the feature product or service. Testing can involve taste testing, using the product, examining the product, etc.
Questionnaire – After participants familiarize themselves with the product at hand, they fill out a questionnaire or answer questions about their experience.

Sign Me Up!

Rather than selecting their own participants, most companies look to focus-group agencies to select focus-group participants and perform most of the work for them. Check out and  look for agencies in your local phone book, job boards and online classifieds like Craigslist. In order to be considered, you must contact the agencies and have your name added to their contact list.

Be open to screening calls and phone interviews. You will have to take part in this part of the process to be considered. You might endure several interviews before you get selected. It’s just part of the process.

Is Success Possible?

While hardly anyone claims to make a fortune with focus groups, there’s no doubt that people are making some extra cash. One family boasts paying for a trip to Disneyland with their focus-group cash. Another gentleman claims he made $200 taste testing vodka.

No matter what your personal financial situation is, you could probably benefit from a few extra bucks. If you don’t mind intermittent work and voicing your opinion, focus groups could pay for your next vacation or a much-needed night on the town.

About the author