Getting Started with Paid Market Research Freelance Work

Paid market research may be a freelance business opportunity that you haven’t considered before, but there are a variety of job opportunities on the market for skillful freelancers who understand the industry well.

What is Market Research?

If businesses want to stay on top of their game, they need to continually analyze the market they are targeting, while keeping a watchful eye on their competition.

Businesses or corporations often pay a professional to look at statistics, opinions and other social variables to help them strategize and plan savvy business decisions.

Market researchers assist businesses by handling much of the data collection and analysis needed to make business decisions.

woman doing market research

Paid Market Research Options

There are several research options that a freelancer could be asked to do, depending on the information a business or corporation needs. Here are a few basic methods of research that freelancers should be familiar with:

1. Exploratory research: When very little is known about something (like a new business methodology or social media option) a researcher may be asked to explore something further to merely provide basic information to the client.

2. Descriptive research: The goal is to answer the basic questions of “who, where, why and how” of products/services and competition.

3. Causal research: Looking at cause-and-effect variables, this research attempts to predict market change and plan accordingly.

4. Focus groups:  Focus groups traditionally consist of a room of individuals who answer survey questions while researchers watch and take notes from behind a one-way mirror.

5. One-on-one interviews: These share the same “questioning” concept of focus groups, but allow researchers to closely evaluate individual reactions and responses.

6. Phone surveys: Phone interviews solidify information gathered in focus groups and one-on-one interviews by asking questions to a broader range of people within the market.

Becoming a Freelance Market Researcher

If these areas of research pique your interest, paid market research may be an attractive career choice for you. A good place to start is searching online job sourcing sites (like These sites are already set up to connect freelancers with those who need their market research services. You should also begin networking with others in the field to gain name recognition and meet potential clients.

Setting Your Pay Rates

The rates you charge as a freelance market researcher varies by project and marketing experience. Typical rates vary from $10-40/hour, but can soar to more than $200/hour for those with decades of research experience. Take time to explore the market and talk with others in the field in order to determine fair market rates for your work.

From Paid Market Research to Freelance Work Guide

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