Moneyball for Politics: four ways to compete With Less Money

How to win your campaign with less money

How to win your campaign with less money

If you're challenging an incumbent, there's a good chance you'll get out-raised in campaign donations. It's to be expected, but you can compete. There are a handful of ways to help you overcome a money disadvantage.

  1. Get Earned Media. I talk about this in some detail here. There are a number of ways to get earned media. You'll just need to start with a little creativity and effort. The low hanging fruit: take the time to put together a media list, ask the writers who might cover your race to meet for coffee, so they know who you are, and send out sporadic press releases.
  2. Be efficient with your time & money. The best way you can do this is to target who you contact. Most voters know who they're voting for before the campaign even starts: they're supporting the Republican or the Democrat (and even in non-partisan races, there's usually an R or a D). You don't generally have to waste your time on those guys - focus your door to door and your ads on the undecided voters. And target it very well. It's one of my favorite things to do - shoot me an email here and I can help you target your race. 
  3. Get creative with your campaign. Whether it's your efforts to garner earned media, how you talk about the race, events you hold or your policy positions, use a little creativity. Sit down with a notepad and think about your race, then write down some ways you can be more interesting than your opponent. Voters and media like interesting. 
  4. Use volunteer staff. This sounds obvious, but many don't even make an effort or wait until it's too late. Post an ad for a campaign manager at the local college or ask local party officials to help you find one. Be a good boss to work for, write them a recommendation, and give them enough freedom to run the campaign that it will be a resume builder for them. Someone will bite if you put enough effort into it.

If you would like to get more campaign tips, you can check out "Running for Officemagazine, subscribe to the blog or connect with me on twitter or LinkedInYou can also get an campaign tips emailed to you once a week by signing up to to the right of this post.