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Making Money by Being a Member of a Focus Group

Updated on April 17, 2019
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 than being a member of a focus group 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 different questions about the item that they are testing. After that they can give their own personal opinion on the items. Besides testing items members of a focus group also get to 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 time period. Besides that, it often is fun to be a member of a focus group. 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 new food.

How do you become a member of a focus group

To become a member of a focus group you need to sign up to 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. The reason that you need to give so much information is because of the personal profile that the agency will make of you. Based on your personal profile the agency will decide whether you’re the target audience of the brand that requested a focus group.

Source

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, the ask you whether you think that the food/beverage fits the brand as it is known. Between answering these questions you’re allowed to share more thoughts and feelings as you please.

Product testing

When a new product is being introduced on to the market the company asks a focus group to test it. You will receive the product to use as you please. Afterwards 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 their website or add new features to it, they ask a focus group to test their website. You will get access to the website and they let you navigate through it on your own. Later on, they will give you instructions on using the website. After this you will have to answer questions about the website. What you do you think of the look of the website, could you easily navigate through it etc. And off course you’re allowed to state your opinion on everything else concerning the website.

Advertising campaign testing

When a company is setting 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 advertise. After this you will have to answer some questions about the advertising campaign. What feeling you got from it, what the goal is, whether you like it etc. And there will be room for other comments that 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 headquarters 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 member of a focus group you will get paid per job. Every job has a 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 more experienced member.The payment is usually pretty high for the short amount of time that you actually work. The more the job asks from you (multiple days or homework) the higher the payment will be.

Pros and Cons

If you still don't know if being a member of a focus group 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?

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© 2019 Kimberly Martis

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    • Kimberly Martis profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Martis 

      4 weeks ago

      Hi Umesh! Thank you for the feedback!

    • Kimberly Martis profile imageAUTHOR

      Kimberly Martis 

      4 weeks ago

      Hi Liz! It’s true that sometimes the qualification requirements are quite specific. This is because some companies only want certain people to be a part of their focus group. Other companies are more open to a diverse focus group and are less specific with their qualification requirements. In the Netherlands there are a lot of focus groups that take place in the bigger cities. Fortunately, the smaller cities also have focus groups. Which makes it easier for different people from all around the country to participate in them.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 weeks ago from UK

      I have occasionally been on focus groups. The pay was reasonable, the activity was interesting, but the downside was that most require locations in or around London or are quite specific on qualification requirements.

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      4 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Very interesting and informative. Thanks.

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