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Making Money by Being a Member of a Focus Group

Updated on December 11, 2021
Kimberly Martis profile image

Kimberly Martis is a Dutch Caribbean freelance writer. She writes about culture, beauty, tv-shows, music, movies, odd jobs, and fiction.

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Do you have some spare time and would love to earn some extra money? If you also love to talk and state your opinion, then being a focus group member might be the right thing for you!

What is a Focus Group

A focus group is a group of people put together to test different items. When testing the items, they get asked various questions about the item they are trying. After that, they can give their opinion on the items. Besides testing products, members of a focus group also test food, beverages, websites, and advertising campaigns. This will be done in groups or individually.

Why Would You Become a Member of a Focus Group

There are many benefits of being a member of a focus group. If you have some spare time, you can make a decent amount of money per job in a short period. Besides that, it is often fun to be a focus group member. You get to talk a lot and give your honest opinion. And usually, you’re (one of) the first people to see and test new items or taste fresh food.

How do you become a member of a Focus Group

To become a focus group member, you need to sign up for a focus group agency. When you’re signing up, you have to fill in all sorts of personal information. This exceeds more than the usual name, address, birthday, etc. Questions about your phone provider, favorite artist, allergies, and childhood may be asked. You need to give so much information because of the personal profile that the agency will make of you. The agency will decide whether you’re the brand’s target audience that requested a focus group based on your profile.

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Focus Group Jobs

Food and beverage testing

When a company wants to put out new food or a new beverage on the market, they ask a focus group about their opinion. You will get to taste the food/beverage and give your opinion on the taste and smell. You will also need to give your opinion on the packaging and price. Besides that, they ask you whether you think that the food/beverage fits the brand as it is known. You’re allowed to share more thoughts and feelings as you please by answering these questions.

Product testing

When a new product is being introduced, the company asks a focus group to test it. You will receive the product to use as you please. Afterward, you will have to give your opinion on different elements of the product. Whether you find the product user-friendly, if you would buy the product, whether the product will add value to your life etc. And whatever else comes to mind.

Website testing

When a company wants to change its website or add new features, they ask a focus group to test their website. You will get access to the website, and they let you navigate through it independently. Later on, they will give you instructions on using the website. After this, you will have to answer questions about the website. What do you think of the website’s look, could you easily navigate through it, etc. And of course, you’re allowed to state your opinion on everything else concerning the website.

Advertising campaign testing

When a company sets up a new advertising campaign, they ask a focus group for their opinion. You will get to see the advertising campaign and all the places they want to advertise and how they will promote it. After this, you will have to answer some questions about the advertising campaign. What feeling you got from it, the goal, whether you like it, etc. And there will be room for other comments you would like to make about the advertising campaign.

Location

The locations of the jobs vary. Sometimes you will be invited to the headquarters of the brand. Other times it will take place at the office of the focus group agency. You can also complete the job through Skype or an online web portal. The focus group agency will inform you about the location, and at times they will give you the option to choose between locations.

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Payment

As a focus group member, you will get paid per job. Every job has different pay. All the members of the focus group will be paid the same amount. Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or a more experienced member. The payment is usually pretty high for a short amount of time. The more the job asks from you (multiple days or homework), the higher the payment.

Pros and Cons

If you still don't know if being a focus group member might be something for you, this pros and cons list might help.

Pros

  • You make a decent amount of money per job

  • The hours are short

  • You’re able to express your opinion

  • You’re able to help improve services and products

  • You will be (one of) the first people to test/see new products/food

Cons

  • It is not a steady job

  • Your travel expenses will not be covered

Would you consider becoming a member of a focus group?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Kimberly Martis

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