What are focus groups?
Focus group is an opinion panel, much like a paid survey, which is useful to obtain information about group feelings and opinions, regarding products and services of companies and businesses.
There are 3 ways you can participate:
- In person, at a focus group facility in your area. Most of the major US cities have such facilities, with a group leader who will pose the questions. The group will usually consistent of 6 to 12 people.
- Online. Many market research companies have started offering online focus groups, because companies want more broadly-based data and some even want data from the global stage. You can do this from your home computer, which will require the use of a webcam, so you can view online info boards.
- On-the-go via a smartphone or tablet, as the qualification screeners are all other mobile devices.
Focus groups pay well (upwards of $50 per hour) for your time, but there is a catch. Joining focus group is no so easy process, most of them are invitation only. If you qualify for a focus group and complete the session, you will get paid in cash on completion. Payments are: Visa/ MasterCard gift card, or immediate PayPal payment.
How do I find focus groups online and get an invitation?
It is unfortunate, but there are limited focus group spots available, as paid focus groups operate with a lot less people than paid survey sites do.
The only way to get in focus group is to join as many survey sites as you can who have focus groups.
Taking advantage of all the surveys you get from the survey panels will also boost your odds of getting focus group invites on a regular basis.
Some of the best survey sites who have access to focus group panels.
- Toluna is one of the best brands in the online focus group arena. Sign up with them and the more surveys you take, the better your chances of a focus group invite will be.
- Ipsos I-say is another top ranked survey panel, making it one of the largest focus group friendly networks around. Join up and qualify for focus group opportunities.
- My Survey is a professional, well-run survey network. Last year they paid out over $32 million to their users, mainly from completing surveys, focus groups, product testing etc. Register with them to get a good share of focus group invites, as each completed survey increases your chances.
- Focus forward is not as well-known as a site like My Survey, but as focus groups are their speciality, it might be an excellent panel to sign up with. Their user count is not as high as other paid survey sites, so it will be much easier to pick up more focus group invites than on the other bigger survey panels.
- Survey Junkie, which somehow is not given enough recognition, to date has recorded more than 6 million in paid surveys, which were paid out at anywhere from $2 to $75 each. At the same time, an undisclosed number of focus group invites were issued and completed. With Survey Junkie, those who get a chance to become a focus group panellist have the potential to earn up to $120 doing focus group studies online. They are one of the best paying focus groups you will find.
- Engage in Depth is highly-rated survey panel that pays very well for focus group studies through their network. The site is easy to use and you need have no concerns about converting points to cash. New offers come to your e-mail and if you accept, you know exactly how much you will make. When you sign up, you will fill out questionnaires to see which panels you are most suited to. They have the reputation of being one of the most trusted focus groups online.
- Harris Poll Online is the survey panel section of Harris Interactive, an extremely successful market research firm that has been online for 20 years. In addition to the survey network, they are known to have many focus group opportunities, and pay very well for that. These sessions can run in person, online, or over the phone. When you sign up, give as much information as you can. This will help you get more invitations. If you have the right demographics, you can expect to get several invites per week.
There is money to be made, if you can get enough invitations. Focus groups are hidden gems on survey sites. The more often you get invites, the greater your income will be.
If you enjoy sharing your opinion about products and services in the market, you have the chance to participate in focus groups online, by telephone, or in a local interactive group, where you are free to talk to other group members. These local group studies also pay very well.
Focus groups have become increasingly important and informative in the marketing sphere. They can potentially give companies a tremendous advantage when competing with other businesses in their field, by getting feedback from their consumers and customers.
The more the better.
There is no limit to the number of survey panels you can sign up to. It is important though, that you put in the hours and complete as many surveys as you can, so that you go into the pool with a good chance of getting focus group invites.
You can also make some good cash completing the paid surveys on hand, while you wait for the focus group invitations, which offer excellent remuneration for your services.