Running for local office is a great way to give back to your community. There are dozens of positions available and each one gives you the opportunity to do a lot of good. Because you’re familiar with your town, you likely knows exactly what your fellow citizens want and need, and you could make that happen. You might not know where to start with your campaign, but even candidates with no political experience can run a successful campaign. These tips will increase your odds of victory.
Develop a Clear Message
You have to make it clear to voters why you are running. You need to develop a message that tells voters who you are and why they should vote for you. Your message should be short and simple. Think of a few words that could fit on a bumper sticker or Twitter. From there, you can write longer talking points, speeches, and ads.
Build Your Name Identification
One obstacle you’ll face is making sure voters know your name. Most people only pay attention to big political races for president or Congress. As a local candidate, you won’t be as well-known or have as much money as candidates for higher offices.
An easy way to build name identification is to make political yard signs, billboards, and bumper stickers. This is cheaper than buying television or radio ads. People will learn your name as they drive around town. When they go to the polls or get their ballot in the mail, they’re more likely to mark your name because they’ll recognize it.
Ask for Endorsements
To establish your credibility, ask respected or high-profile leaders to endorse your campaign. Look for business, political, and religious leaders who might want to support you. Call them and ask for their advice and support. You will be surprised how many people will be happy you asked them to help. Asking prominent people for their endorsement shows you care about them too. If they endorse you, you’ll get more access to their supporters and donors.
Ask for Donations
Most candidates hate fundraising, but you can’t run a campaign without money. If you don’t have enough money on your own, you’ll need to fundraise. These days, you have many options available when raising money from traditional options to more creative.
Peer-to-peer and text-to-give fundraising tactics can be affective. You can also set up events where the proceeds from merchandise and tickets go toward your campaign. Barbeque picnics, auctions, tournaments, and walkathons are all areas where you’re likely to find a lot of interest from your fellow community members.
Block Walk and Attend Events
You need to meet as many people as possible. Voters are more likely to support a candidate they’ve met. It creates trust. Block walking is a great way to meet voters door-to-door. You should also attend candidate forums and local events like county fairs, parades, and neighborhood association meetings. While you’re at these events, strike up conversation with other attendees and allow them to talk to you about your plans if you’re elected. The more they know about you, the better they’ll be able to make an educated decision.
Running for local office is full of ups and downs, but it’s an excellent way to give back to the community you love. Make a plan, spread your name, and get out there. Enjoy the adventure.