Here are some basics to consider as you get started…
Research your target audience: Acquire a list of likely voters – people who have recently voted in similar elections – in your area and look at their profiles to find those who are most likely to support you.
Understand their concerns: Do research, but the best way is to talk to the voters as often as possible and make notes on their concerns. Also, keep track of local media – TV, radio and print – to see which areas get the most coverage. What are the hot topics? Social media is good, but not as representative.
Keep your focus on your targeted audience: You have two major resources, your time and your money. Don’t waste them on people who aren’t likely to support you. Use Direct Mail and targeted social media advertising. Door to door is an option, too, but it takes a lot of time and volunteers.
Develop a clear message: Most voters don’t have the time to carefully evaluate each candidate, so they often go with their first impressions. Make sure that what they hear about you is clear, simple, and memorable.
Keep your message consistent: You never know which sound bite or yard sign will catch a voter’s eye, so have a simple message. If there are several points to your campaign, make sure they have a common theme.
Develop a plan and a budget: Cover your campaign from startup to announcement, early campaign, primary, and final election. Set tasks, expenses and fundraising targets for each stage.
Raise money: Think through the various sources for support. Local business and community leaders, political friends, personal friends, and other organizations. Explore other areas such as online funding, and appeals through social media.