How to do market research for free?


It is always good to validate an idea or a premise, or even find out what your initial audience will feel for the solution / product you're building. Unfortunately, it is not currently feasible for independent researchers or indiehackers or boostrapped businesses to execute this through a market research company. Don't worry about it.  We will show you how fast social market research can be carried out without spending money. Here is the guide on how to do that step by step.

Survey Tool & Design

  • Select the best survey tool. Make sure you only can see the collected data and not the platform provider or anyone. Protect your ideas.
  • Make the design creative. Use images for background. Strive to make it appealing.
  • Make survey conversational in nature. Ask questions which are like conversations or talking to the respondents.
  • Don't collect demography or personal information if it is not needed for the research.
  • Know when to use open and close ended questions. Let the choice be intentional.
  • Keep the open-ended questions at the end. It reduces drop outs.
  • Use simple grammar and language.
  • Keep the survey shorter. ~ 2 mins
  • Please convey the research / study purpose. Add research topics / areas and purpose as part of introduction in survey.
  • Add snowballing technique / request for referrals on completion of survey.

Distribution and Recruiting Audience

  • Test a survey with a friend or colleague to test whether it is good before distribution.
  • Firstly, distribute the survey through your own network - friends, family and colleagues. Remember to have a good introduction message. Start to build an email list, phone contacts list and social media list.
  • Send a warm-up email if it is your email list and you are going to follow with a survey. Seek permission. It helps you go authentic.
  • Distribute the survey link through emails, messengers like WhatsApp, Telegram and also post on all your social media walls. Also think about keep the survey link in WhatsApp status / as a Instagram story. Use appropriate hastags. #survey #surveys #marketresearch #research
  • Send reminders/follow-ups for conversion on day 2. 
  • Secondly, distribute through blogs on various platforms like Medium, IndieHackers, Substack. etc. Write a blog post describing the research and add the survey link at the end. Ask for participation and how it could be a big help.
  • Thirdly, distribute on survey groups. Here is the list of groups from each platform.
  • Lastly, if you can try this as well. Post QR codes of the surveys on walls or boards or elevator in your apartment or community. Also you can take inputs on a tablet while meeting people face to face. 


We've seen that following the above procedure has helped to get 100 + answers a number of times, and we're sure that it will help you as well. Well, happy surveying and researching!