Lots of things go into running a successful political campaign.  You need to build a strong grassroots organization, you have to have a great online presence, and you should develop a good yard sign strategy to get your name in front of the voters.

All of those things are important, but if you really want to win your next election, you need to make sure that you’re spending enough time working on the three most important things that any candidate needs to do in order to get elected:

#1 – Develop a Compelling Message

First, your campaign needs to develop a compelling campaign message.  Your message is the overarching theme of your campaign.   Your message needs to cast a big vision, even if the office you are seeking is local.  The message you develop needs to be a cutting message that sets your candidate apart from his or her opponents and gives people a reason to care about this election.

Before you start talking to voters or putting up yard signs, your campaign needs to develop a persuasive message.  Click here to learn more about how to develop your campaign message.

#2 – Target Your Voters

Once you develop your campaign message, you need to decide which voters you are going to spend time and money communicating with to deliver that message.  No campaign has the time or resources to communicate with every single person living in their district.

Your campaign should target only those people who live inside your district, are registered to vote, and are likely to vote in this election.  You may need to further refine your targeting to focus only on those who are likely to be open to voting for your candidate.

Before you spend any money to communicate your message, take the time to target which voters you are going to focus on during this campaign.  Click here to learn more about how to target your campaign communications.

#3 – Raise Enough Money to Communicate Your Message with Your Targeted Voters

After you have developed your campaign message and figured out which voters you are going to target, it’s time to start communicating with the public.  There are lots of different ways to communicate your message, including direct mail, e-mail, your website, TV and radio ads, billboards, yard signs, door-to-door, etc.

No matter which tactics you choose, you’re going to need money in order to communicate effectively.  If you really want to sway voters, you’re going to make sure your targeted voters hear your message over and over again, and that your message is delivered in an appealing manner.  Thus, your candidate and your campaign will need to focus on fundraising.

Very few campaigns can succeed without placing a strong emphasis on fundraising.  Click here to learn more about how to raise the money your campaign needs to communicate effectively.

Developing your message, targeting your voters, and raising enough money to communicate effectively are the three linchpins to your entire campaign effort.  Focus on all three, and make sure they are in place before you sweat the small stuff in your campaign.

Photo Credit: Andy Maguire