Much like mystery shoppers, participants in focus groups are helping companies get an outside perspective on their services and products. Again, the goal is to improve everything from customer satisfaction to the particulars of a product. Typically, a marketing company conducts a focus group, and participants meet at a certain location and have to answer questions, offer suggestions, and participate in certain activities, such as using or tasting a particular product. Participants can make $50 to $100, sometimes more, for each session in which they participate. Sometimes they receive perks, such as coupons or freebies for sharing their opinion. Often, the companies organizing the focus group have certain requirements or might be looking for a certain demographic into which participants have to fit. FindFocusGroups.com offers a range of opportunities that can be searched by geographic location, which makes it a terrific starting point for those interested in signing up for a focus group. Along the same lines, some companies invite people to fill out online surveys about their experiences with their business in exchange for a small fee, usually $5 to $10.
Photograph by: Thomas Barwick