Tips for Increased Focus Group Participation: Research Studies Pay for Opinions

Focus groups allow ordinary people to earn extra money by sharing their opinions. They often last one to three hours and may include product testing or a discussion surrounding prospective marketing campaigns.

Be Honest During the Initial Focus Group Interview

After signing up with a marketing research firm, prospective focus group participants will be contacted via phone or e-mail to answer a questionnaire pertaining to one of the current studies available.

Prospective focus group participants should be entirely honest when answering these questions. Eligibility in a focus group is determined by a set of criteria, and answering dishonestly will not only hurt the integrity of the study, it will also result in the candidate participating in a focus group in which he or she is not interested in.

Even if a prospective focus group participant does not qualify for a study, most marketing research firms have dozens of studies occurring every week. Chances are good that another research study will soon become available for eligible participants.

Prepare for the Focus Group

Focus group participants need to make sure they have directions to the site where the research study is taking place, and participants should give themselves extra driving time. Arriving late to a focus group may result in the participant being disqualified from the study and possibly being removed from the marketing research group’s database completely.


Focus group participants should dress in comfortable clothing that is neat and clean in appearance. Three piece suits are not required but using good judgment when deciding what to wear can bolster the first impression participants make when arriving at the marketing research group’s office.

Become an Active and Reliable Participant

Active participation in the assigned focus group is the key for more paid opportunities from the marketing research firm. Participants may be nervous when first starting the focus group, but they need to contribute to the discussion as much as possible.

Taking the time to truly evaluate the product or service that is the focal point of the study, and offering thoughtful observations and opinions is the main responsibility of the focus group participant.

Above all, focus group participants need to honor any non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements they signed pertaining to the study. If a marketing research firm finds out that a focus group participant violated these agreements and revealed the nature of the study to anyone else, it can be grounds for immediate removal from the database and the participant will be black-listed.