Do you know what a candidate profile is?
It is quite akin to a social media profile, in that, it helps people recognize or form an impression about you. Of course, unlike a social media profile, it is not amassed in a single place. Rather your candidate profile is formed out of the voter’s impression of you from the messages or media coverage that grabs their attention.
These messages may be part of your opponent’s communication as well, which paint you in bad light. You do not want that. So you should be the one to introduce yourself to the voter. Remember that first impressions matter.
In a municipal election, the voters would want a known face within the community to represent them. So when raising your candidate profile, you have to approach them as a member of the community. On top of that, the information should be easily available to them and from a source that they trust. Here’s how you can go about creating that.
Create a website bio
Your campaign needs a website where voters can find news and your policy details. The website should have a biography of the candidate as well. It should give your work history and background within the community. The bio should imply why they make a good candidate to back.
Add a good campaign photograph along with the bio. Putting a face to the profile lets the voter associate with you better.
Address directly over social media
Your website should also link to your official social media handles. This could be your candidate page on Facebook or your regular account. Adding social media links helps the interested voters reach out to you directly.
When they do, you should respond to them yourself. It is good to show the voters that you are available for them to contact and discuss any misgivings they have.
Keep a consistent voice
The voter may have many interactions with you during the campaign period – over the web, through media interviews or face-to-face. They should be able to recognize your voice over any medium.
This is possible only if you address them frequently on all the issues of importance. This would get them to know your ideology and understand why you choose that stance. The voters whose beliefs align with yours would then come forward to support you openly.
Discuss issues that matter
To catch the voter’s attention, however, you need to address the issues that they personally care about. This would be an issue faced by people within the community.
Take a clear stance and talk about how you plan to address the matter when you assume office. Meet with the people on the ground who are affected by the issue and let them know how your victory would benefit them personally.
Introduce through trusted sources
When you go out to create connections with voters, they would only open up to what you have to offer if they trust you. So you have to approach them through someone they trust.
This could be media channels or influencers in the community or even common acquaintances. Showing that someone whose situation is closer to their own aligns with you gives them the social proof needed to open up and place their faith in you as well.
Be present where the voter is
In a municipal election, it is important to create a local presence among the voters. So make sure to organize events in the community where you can interact with them.
Meet with them at a local pub or invite them to discuss on a particular issue at a community center. Interact with them in Facebook groups or your local subreddit so they get a direct channel to address you. You have to get where the voter is to open up these routes for interaction.
Start direct conversations
When you go out to connect with voters, remember to make the conversation about what really matters to them. Just sharing your campaign message is not a two-way interaction. You should make them feel that you care about improving their situation.
For that, it is important to listen more. Ask them about their personal qualms and then respond how your stance is the best to address their problem. This back n forth interaction creates long-term bonds with your voters.
Share personal and professional credibility
The way each voter evaluates your credibility for the position would vary quite a bit. So the information available about your background should cover all relative ground.
Add both your personal and professional history which show that you are fit to take the role. This could be your past work in the community or experience in other positions of leadership. The voter will use this to judge whether they should back you over the opponent.
Use traditional approaches
Even though campaigns are better to manage with digital tools which allow you to target likely voters, in a local election, voters still prefer traditional media to know more about the candidates.
What better way to raise your candidate profile than to use these traditional forms of communication? TV and radio are still seen as credible sources of information over the web. Do interviews and campaign ads on these platforms to hook voter attention. Invest in yard signs and send door-to-door volunteers to draw in likely supporters.
All these practices together would build your candidate profile in the voter’s eye. Knowing the candidate better and what their policies and interests are lets the voter choose between you and the opponent. The better you build your candidate profile using the above methods, the more steady supporters you attract.