Politics and life in general are chaotic right now. The United States is still struggling with the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s an election year with one of the most contentious presidents ever in office, and people around the country are trying to make sure their voices are heard.
Many people are feeling overwhelmed by the reality we’re living and are choosing to tune out everything around them. But if you pay attention, you might just find that inspiring things are happening amid the chaos. If you’re one of the people choosing inspiration and hope, then you might be ideally suited to running for local office.
We need more inspired, dedicated people helping their communities during this moment in history and beyond. If you’ve ever thought about running for office, here are some tips for success.
Have a clear understanding of what you’ll need to run for office.
Every region has its own requirements for election candidates. If you want to run for office, you need to be practical and make a list of what you’ll need to run for office. Enthusiasm is great, but if you don’t take the time to understand the requirements well in advance of the deadline to submit yourself for candidacy, then you may be out of luck.
Requirements differ for the various local offices you might be considering. If you don’t have any experience in local politics, it’s probably better to run for a school board or city council position than for mayor. Be realistic and choose an office that’s suited to your interests and experience. Then, read up on the requirements before you get started.
Have a clear mission for why you are running.
To get people to vote for you, you’ll have to do better than saying “I want the job.” People want to elect candidates who are dedicated and passionate about building a strong community. You need to understand your own “why” in running for office and be prepared to share that mission and motivation with constituents.
Additionally, running for any office is grueling, even if you live in a small town. Unless you’re running unopposed, there will probably be lots of hard days during your campaign. You’ll need strong motivation to overcome those days and to persevere until Election Day.
Keep your team positive, even when you are facing challenges.
You can’t run for office without some help. Your team might be small, but you will depend on them for a lot and they will look to you for leadership and morale. Staying positive throughout the campaign might not be easy, but it’s your responsibility to create a culture of positivity and guide your team through the challenges of running for office.
Staying positive doesn’t mean subscribing to false positivity. It’s important to acknowledge challenges—but you can’t let them kill your campaign. Your attitude will make a huge difference to your team throughout the campaign and will affect their own motivation.
Don’t feel like you have to have all the answers.
Lots of people don’t ever run for office because they think they don’t know enough. Having the answers is nice, but it’s not necessary for getting elected or for being an effective local leader. The most successful local politicians are those who are willing to learn and to listen while caring enough to make a difference.
We all have insecurities and gaps in our knowledge. But if you care about your community and you want to make it better, you don’t have to go into your campaign with a plan for everything. You just need to earn the trust of your neighbors and dedicate yourself to doing everything you can to make life better for them.
Tech advertising is important, but in-person interactions win elections.
In our digital world, online advertising has taken over. To succeed in business or in politics, you can’t ignore digital marketing to spread the word. With that said, however, it’s the in-person interactions that make the biggest difference in local elections.
People make decisions based on emotions and relationships. If you meet with people in person and learn more about their hopes, fears, wants, and needs, you’ll build those all-important relationships and earn crucial votes. To get elected, people need to know you care. It’s as simple as that!
This content is sponsored by Andrew Deen.
Photo credit: Shutterstock