We use cookies and other tracking technology to improve your browsing experience on our website, to show you personalized content, to analyze our website traffic, and to understand where our visitors are coming from. By browsing our website or clicking Accept Cookies, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. Read our Privacy Policy
8 min

How to find and work with the best expert network companies

Learn how to find and work with the best expert network companies

Jan 25, 2023
B2B market research
B2C market research


Expert network companies have been helping asset managers and companies find the best experts in their fields for more than a decade. In 2021, the expert network industry revenues increased by 21% to $1.92 billion (the highest annual growth rate since 2013), according to the latest data from Integrity Research Associates (IRA). While this is great news for investors looking for access to high-quality talent at an affordable price point, it also means there are now more expert network companies than ever before. So how can you tell which ones are reliable? Read this article to know how to find and work with the best companies!

What are expert network companies?

For more than a decade, expert network companies have been providing insights from industry and functional experts to asset managers and companies.

An expert network is a group of industry experts that you can use to better understand your industry and market. Expert networks are often formed by companies or asset managers who want access to valuable information about their customers, competitors, suppliers, or other key stakeholders.

Experts in the network provide input on topics such as trends, industry data, and competition analysis through surveys, interviews, and reports. These experts are often former employees of the company or sector they’re working in today, which means they know their stuff!

In addition to providing valuable information, expert networks can also help you find new ways of looking at your business and its challenges. This is especially important if you’re in a rapidly evolving industry. Expert networks can be helpful at any stage of your company’s life cycle. However, they are particularly useful for startups and early-stage companies that need insight into their market.

The key to an effective expert network is finding the right people. Companies often start by forming a list of their customers, suppliers, and competitors and then reach out to these stakeholders directly. However, it’s important to note that not all experts are willing to participate in this kind of research. Many companies find it helpful to work with a third party such as a market research firm or consulting firm. These companies typically specialise in creating expert networks for clients.

What is an expert network made up of?

Let's look at what expert networks are and how they operate. Then we'll dive into some of the important factors you should consider when choosing an expert network company. We'll also go into why it's important to work with one that meets your needs.

What is an Expert Network?

An expert network is a company that provides access to an online database of experts and influencers in various fields. The goal of these networks is to help companies find the right people for their marketing campaigns or business operations.

For example, let's say you're launching a new product and you need someone to analyse your product's fit with the marketplace. You could search through your network of connections and find someone who is good at this and then hire them directly. Or you could use an expert network to find someone who has experience in the area. One way to find this expert would be through expert network companies. Learn more about determining product-market fit here.

How can you work with the best expert network companies?

Let's dive into how to find the best expert network companies.

1) Cross-check company names with regulatory databases to identify any past issues

You should check to see if the expert network company has any past issues with regulators, clients, employees, or customers. If they do have a history of problems, ask yourself whether you're willing to work with them anyway.

If you're still not sure after reviewing all this information that your chosen expert network is trustworthy and reliable, check their customer satisfaction rating on an independent review site like Trustpilot. These sites can provide a better idea of how well-regarded a company is. This is because users of expert network companies can provide you with first-hand information about their experience.

2) Narrow the list by finding 3rd party reviews of the expert network companies

Another tip to find the best expert network companies is by narrowing your options. Let's see below how to do this.

  • Check the company's website and social media sites for information about the company, its leadership team, and its history in business. You should also look for information about any awards it has received in recent years.
  • Check professional associations and other industry groups to see if there are any news items or articles about your target companies that might mention them or describe how they're helping their clients or members.
  • Look for online reviews left by companies and experts. However, make sure you take these online reviews with a grain of salt. Some reviewers tend to be biassed (either positive or negative) toward certain companies based on their personal experiences.

3) Inquire about consultant availability and subject matter expertise

When comparing different expert network companies, it's important to ask about their consultant pool. How many experts are on staff? What is the average number of hours per week that consultants spend working on projects? How many years of experience do they have in the industry? What subject matter expertise do they have?

Now let's say you've identified a few companies that seem promising. It's time to dig deeper into each one so you can make your choice as easy as possible!

The next step is to find out more about the companies themselves. You'll want to get an idea of their size, their history, and how long they've been in business. It's also helpful to know what types of clients they work with most often: Are they mostly B2B or B2C? Do they specialise in a particular industry? How much money do they bring in each year? Keep reading for more tips on how to find the right expert network company!

Once you've made your choice and signed on with an expert network company, it's time to start leveraging them for your business.

4) Conduct your due diligence

When it comes to the process of finding and working with expert networks, it’s important to understand the roles of each party involved. As you will see from the following section, there are several different parties that play a part in this relationship.

The first step is to identify who is responsible for due diligence in your organisation. Due diligence is a standard practice used by companies when making business decisions or investing money into something new. It helps make sure that you aren't committing resources or money on something that won't work or isn't safe.

Due diligence can take any number of forms depending on what stage you're at in developing your relationship with an expert network company. For example:

If you are just getting started and don't have an expert network yet, then ask yourself what kind of information would help convince your leadership team or board members about why they should invest time or resources into building one. What questions do they have about expert networks generally? What types of data would help them feel more comfortable moving forward with this decision?

If you have an expert network and are just starting to think about how to use it, then consider what types of due diligence would be most effective at this stage. Is there anything you need from the expert network company that they aren't giving you? Are there any gaps in their offering that might prevent them from being as successful as possible?

If you are already using a network and want to know if there is anything that could be improved, then consider what types of data would help with this. Is there a specific area in which your current expert isn't meeting expectations? What other options might exist for addressing this need?

5) Perform a reference check of your own

When it comes time to decide which expert network company is right for you, a reference check can be invaluable. When you ask clients about their experiences with an expert, they're usually willing to share their thoughts.

The best way to get started is by asking your experts themselves for recommendations. Once you've got a list of companies they've worked with in the past, follow up with these experts via email or phone call. Then, ask them how they liked working with each firm. What was their experience like? Would they recommend them? What were some issues they had during the project that could impact your own work? This will give you a good sense of what kind of service each company provides. In addition, it will tell you whether or not those services line up well with your needs. You'll also be able to determine expectations for quality work product from both sides of the equation (you and the expert network).

If you are in healthcare and you've decided to go with an expert network company, check out our guide on the 3 types of results you can expect.

6) Compare pricing models offered by different expert network companies

The last thing you want to do is sign up with a company that doesn't fit your needs. Before you commit, compare prices across expert network companies. Look for one that offers a price model that is flexible and fits your needs. In addition, find one that is transparent and easy to understand. Also, consider competition as well as value for money.

Find out if there are any hidden costs associated with using an expert network. If there are additional costs involved, make sure they’re reasonable and worth it before signing up.

The expert network you choose should be easy to use and work with. Additionally, it should provide you with a variety of experts to choose from. The company should also have an extensive database that includes experts in a variety of fields. This is so you can find the right person for the job.

The company should have a solid reputation. In addition, they should be well-established in the market. You should also look for expert networks that provide you with tools and resources to help manage your account, including customer support services. 

Ensure you are working with reliable experts and finding the best value in services

Here are some steps that you can take to get the best value out of expert network services:

  • Check company names with regulatory databases
  • Find 3rd party reviews of the companies
  • Inquire about consultant availability and subject matter expertise. Then, conduct your own due diligence to ensure experts have appropriate levels of expertise (e.g., senior management)and are available on each engagement.
  • Perform a reference check of your own

Ask for references from the company and call the references. The best way to find out if someone is good at what they do is to talk with people who have used their services.

Once you've found the company you want to work with, ask for a copy of the contract and read it carefully before signing any agreement. Be sure that all terms are clear and spelled out clearly in writing. This is so there are no misunderstandings about what each party is responsible for doing.


We hope this guide has helped you find the expert network company that's right for you. Remember that having access to a large network of experts is essential to any business. However, it's important not just how many experts they have; it's also important to know who they are and what types of work they do. Remember that expert networks have grown in popularity over time because they offer cost-effective solutions for companies looking for specialised expertise, so don't settle for second best when it comes time to choose one for yourself! Curious to know more about expert network companies? Contact us here to learn more!

Seamlessly submit surveys on the go.

Bring your experience to your mobile via our app.