When a business is thinking about debuting a new product or service, they need to ask themselves: How will the market react to it? Will consumers take to it? Does it satisfy their needs? Market research is a must to find out the answers to these questions, and that is where paid focus groups come into the picture.

What Are Paid Focus Groups?

Focus Group RoomInstead of stumbling around blindly in the dark, many businesses choose to get a group of people from their target market together and have a roundtable discussion about the product or service that they’re keen on introducing.

More often than not, they are more than happy to compensate these people appropriately for their time and effort. Some focus groups pay as little as $20 while others may pay as much as $200 and even throw in some free gifts.

That is what a paid focus group is: Individuals in a certain market demographic that are helping businesses evaluate and improve a particular product or service.

Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be for a new product or service – a paid focus group may just as easily discuss and provide suggestions on improving an existing product or service.

Types of Paid Focus Groups

As you can probably well imagine, paid focus groups exist in pretty much every market niche imaginable. If you’re looking for focus groups to join, you could just as easily find one for a new shampoo as you could for a new LED TV.

On top of that, you’ll also find that some focus groups are held online whereas others are held offline. Although online focus groups are definitely more convenient, some businesses prefer having people actually come in so that they can observe their reactions directly.

At the end of the day however, the main difference between various types of focus groups inevitably ends up being the target market demographic.

Some focus groups may consist only of mothers aged 25 to 29, whereas others may consist of men aged 18 to 21 with an interest in gadgets. It really depends on the market that the business is trying to tap into.

Finding Paid Focus Group Opportunities

Locating actual opportunities to join paid focus groups is easy enough nowadays, especially considering the internet is right at your fingertips.

1. Focus Group Networks

Paid Focus GroupSome websites act as hubs that help to connect people interested in joining these focus groups with market research companies and businesses interested in organizing them. Such websites include but are not limited to:

The first two websites cater predominantly to market demographics within the United States, while the third caters to the United Kingdom. If you don’t happen to be from either of those locations, you should still be able to find other similar websites for your country and area.

2. Focus Group Firms

You can also access focus group opportunities by going directly through focus group firms.

Most of these types of websites will ask you to register and provide details about yourself. It is important that you fill out as much of your profile as possible because those details may be used to match you up with paid focus group openings that crop up.

Here are a few legitimate paid focus group firms that you can check out:

3. Classified Ads

Focus Group Ads

Another place to look for possible openings would be in local classifieds or online listings such as Craigslist and Backpage.

Use caution when applying to focus group opportunities posted on these types of sites because you never really know who’s behind the ad. Visit their company website, ask questions, and do some homework before committing to anything.

‘Need to Know’ Tips and Warnings

While you’re looking for paid focus group opportunities you will likely find websites that offer to hook you up with openings in exchange for a registration fee. Some may even charge a monthly subscription fee as well.

The truth is that the bulk of these services just compile listings from free databases available elsewhere, and so there is no real reason why you would want to pay to be given access. This opportunity is free, so you shouldn’t pay anything to take part in focus group opportunities.

Be as proactive as possible and apply to a wide range of paid focus groups that you are eligible for. Don’t be disappointed if you don’t hear back from many of them because the truth is that there is a lot of competition out there and you’re undoubtedly just one of hundreds or possibly even thousands of people jostling for the opening.

With that in mind, you should appreciate the fact that when you do land an opening you need to take advantage of it and do what is asked of you. If a business happens to like your input and the manner in which you participated, it may even lead to further invitations to other focus groups.

One last word of warning: It may be tempting at times to ‘bend the truth’ to appear eligible for certain focus groups. Do not make that mistake, and always be upfront and honest about your personal details that are related to the market demographic.

Hopefully all of this should get you off on the right foot when you look for paid focus groups to join. If you play your cards right, you could earn a tidy side-income from these groups but you may find that it isn’t all that reliable since there is no guarantee when you’ll land an opening.