Pathway to Victory: Creating (Or Re-Creating) Your Digital Presence
We know that you’re really eager to launch, but there’s still a little more preparation to do. Before you announce your candidacy, it’s critical to make sure your image is squeaky clean. Create new social media profiles and update your current accounts to be sure that the best version of yourself is represented.
Keep reading for a few of the tips you’ll find in 101 Steps to Victory: A How-To Guide for First-Time Political Candidates. This free e-book outlines the 101 most important things a first-time candidate needs to know to keep their campaign on the path to victory. And check back with the SpeakEasier blog in the days and weeks ahead for more of our 101 Steps to Victory.
Invest in good photography.
Now you need to do one of the most important things in your campaign—take good pictures. Lots of good pictures. If you are camera shy, you need to get over it. Ask your friend who is really good with a camera to spend an afternoon or two helping you get a good portrait (head shot) and some shots that show you in action. A few with recognizable community landmarks will be helpful, and get a few family shots while you’re at it. No shots with wine glasses in your hand, red eyes, buttons or funny hats. You need to look friendly, but people have to take you seriously.
Build your website.
Develop a basic website, and keep it private until you are ready to announce that you’re running. The website must have:
- Your bio
- Your contact information
- Your social media handles
- A donation form
- A volunteer form
- An endorsement form
- The proper disclaimer for your state
You should probably start with a blog function you can use to regularly update your site (check back into our Pathway to Victory blog series to learn more about search engine optimization, or SEO). Make sure to link all your social media properties from the home page of your website.
Now you need to audit, or create, your social media properties.
You are going to need, at a minimum, a presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You are probably going to need a presence on Instagram and Snapchat. All of these platforms have functions you can use to invite all of your friends to connect with you. Remember all the time you spent creating that list? Now it’s time to use it. Try and connect with everyone you know (but not yet with people you don’t know). And before you do, take down all those embarrassing photos, please. Weird late night tweets? Delete them now.
PRO TIP: If you’re at a community event and want to post something to Twitter, you only have 280 characters. It’s helpful to tag other people or organizations involved at the same event to make sure that your tweet is reaching a broader audience. You should post to Facebook too, and make sure to include a picture and tag relevant participants, but use different phrasing—each post should be unique.
Looking for more information about what it takes to run for office? Download our e-book designed to walk candidates through the process of running – and winning – their first political campaign. And be sure to check out more from our Pathway to Victory series!
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