People looking to make a little side money have probably looked into online survey sites and paid focus groups — websites where market research companies will pay you to give your opinion on products or services. There are lots of sites out there in this space, but one we’re really excited about is Mindswarms.
Mindswarms is different from most sites in that it has you film video responses to survey questions, as opposed to just selecting from a multiple choice options or typing in an answer. They’re also different from many sites in one way that people looking for online work will care about: They pay cash, quickly, and it’s good money, $10 or $50, depending on the survey.
In this article we’ll give a brief introduction to Mindswarms, then show you how to sign up for the service. We’ll guide you through the process of taking video surveys, and get to some frequently asked questions.
What Is Mindswarms?
Mindswarms is an online market research company that offers a unique proposition to clients: They will provide video feedback from consumers.
Video has never been easier to record. Anyone with a smartphone or a webcam can produce a strong video in minutes, and upload it in seconds. Because of this, Mindswarms realized that it could provide rich, in-depth market feedback from people all over the world, and get it done quickly.
Getting video feedback from consumers around the world is a process that, not long ago, would have taken weeks, perhaps months, to do. Smartphones and high speed internet have transformed it into a process that can be done in a couple hours.
Mindswarms argues that video responses can provide feedback that goes much deeper than someone answering preset questions with text. Companies looking for feedback can get a real sense of the consumer’s reaction to a product. Are they excited, earnestly into it, or more demure? Companies can also pick up on non-verbal cues to get a deeper sense of how a consumer feels about a product or service.
Perhaps in a free association video response, a survey responder might note something about a product that the marketing team would never think to stress or ask about. Video gives a deeper-level survey response than any written answer, and much more information than a multiple choice list.
Video responses also force people to be more thoughtful in their answers. A survey taker may just try to work through the survey as quickly as possible, giving vague answers to try and get to the end. When recording a video, a consumer will be forced to sit and think about what they want to say and what feedback they want to provide. These moments of reflection may open up ideas and thoughts the responder never would have considered if they were just answering questions quickly from a list.
How Is Mindswarms Different?
Mindswarms is different from most paid survey sites in two big ways:
- They don’t reward you with “points” but with actual cash after every survey.
- They have you create video responses to survey questions via your computer or mobile phone.
Most online survey sites, such as Opinion Outpost or Swagbucks, reward users with points that can then be redeemed, usually for gift cards. Surveys on those sites can be taken more quickly and are usually less involved than creating a video, but they often pay out in smaller amounts — in our look at these sites, most surveys paid out between 75 cents and $1.50.
Mindswarms has people take surveys with video responses, which is different, but they also pay either $10 or $50 direct to your PayPal account, usually the day after you complete the survey.
How to Sign Up for Mindswarms
Interested in taking surveys with Mindswarms? You can either sign up online at Mindswarms.com or via their smartphone app (available for iPhone or Android). The process is a simple, three-part procedure that can be done in less than half an hour, provided you’re set up to record a video.
Create an Account
The first part of the process is creating an account. On the sign up page, you’ll see this:
It’s standard fare, asking you to provide your name, a username, a password, and some basic contact information. Enter that to create your account and move on to the next step.
Create Your Profile
On the next page, you’ll be asked to create your profile. The screen looks like this:
Here the company will get a bit more information from you to help complete your profile and to make sure you’re able to get paid. If you haven’t created a PayPal account yet, you’ll need to do so before signing up here. (This will ensure an easy payout once you’ve completed surveys.)
They will also ask what country you’re from. While it helps to use the site if you speak English, you don’t have to be in the United States to sign up for Mindswarms.
Create Your Profile Video
Mindswarms asks you to create a profile video for a few reasons:
- It lets you practice producing and uploading a video that adheres to their standards.
- It lets you practice speaking in front of a camera.
- It lets the site know a little more about you.
On that page, they have a video guide that shows both how to create the video and gives you some advice on what to talk about. Follow along, upload your profile video, and you’re ready to go.
Taking Video Surveys
To take a video survey, you first have to apply to take part. Here’s how it works: Mindswarms will share survey topics and roughly who they are looking for to take part in a survey. If you pre-qualify (you match the demographic and location they are looking for), you can apply. But just because you pre-qualify doesn’t mean you will be selected. Maybe they already accepted someone like you. Maybe they’re just looking for someone else. It happens.
If you get selected, it’s time to take the survey. Mindswarms is looking for quality video responses to survey questions. “Quality” can both refer to the quality of the video and the quality of your answers. To that effect, they have several guidelines for videos that users must adhere to.
With regard to the video itself, they ask that there be “even illumination on light around your face,” which basically means no shadows, and watch out if you are severely backlit. They also ask for minimum background noise, as it’ll be hard to understand the video if you have a vacuum cleaner or loud air conditioner going off right next to you. They also ask you to dress casually — no need for business attire.
As for your responses, Mindswarms wants engaged, in-depth responses. One-word answers, or even one-sentence answers, are not going to cut it. They also encourage you to show emotion when appropriate, though don’t go overboard.
Like with creating your account, Mindswarms lets you upload videos to their website, or upload mobile videos to their mobile app.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve covered signing up for Mindswarms, and taking video surveys with the site. Let’s get to some frequently asked questions.
1. Is Mindswarms a scam?
Mindswarms sometimes pays out $50 for a single survey, so naturally some people online are wary. If you do a Google search on the company, you’ll also find that some Mindswarms reviews run negative.
In our investigation, it appears this site is legit. Some people have negative reviews because they aren’t selected to take as many surveys as they’d like. This is understandable, but it doesn’t make Mindswarms a scam. The company pays people for work done and has a good reputation as a way to make extra money online.
2. What are the negatives of Mindswarms?
The biggest complaint we’ve found about Mindswarms is that there just aren’t enough surveys to go around. It’s hard to make it work as a full-time gig, as work comes infrequently. When it does come, however, it pays well.
3. Does Mindswarms take out money for taxes?
No, that’s on you. If you make more than $600 annually with Mindswarms, you will need to report it on your taxes and pay. Learn more in our freelancers’ guide to taxes.
Make Extra Cash With Mindswarms
Mindswarms is a unique online survey panel, and frankly one of the best we’ve looked at. While surveys may come infrequently, they offer either $10 or $50 per video survey response, making it one of the highest paying survey sites out there.
By reading this article, you should have a good sense of how to sign up for the site, and how to start creating video responses. Now get your camera ready and start earning with Mindswarms.