1. Find your Niche
The first step to getting your music to the masses is knowing which masses you’re aiming at. Figure out how you want to brand yourself and your music and stick with it. Get to know people working in your genre and the fans.
2. Start Small
Just like any venture, music promotion won’t happen overnight and planting the seed is one of the earliest steps you should take. Don’t overbook yourself and don’t release too much at once. It’s easy to spread yourself thin quickly. Make sure that everything you’re releasing to the public is 100% manageable.
3. Get Online
After you get the first two steps squared away then get online in a big way. Put together a professional website with your contact information, samples, and updated event schedule.
4. Social Network
Live tweet your performances, make a Facebook fan page, upload photos on Instagram, and just generally be seen. Social networking is the fastest method of transferring information to people and everyone has it at their disposal. Make use of it.
5. Maintain a Consistent Presence
Once you accomplish three and four then keep it up. Don’t slack on updating event schedules and live feeds. A good first impression isn’t enough for effective promotion; once you start getting attention then keep it.
6. Distribute Online
People will often value convenience over quality, so be accessible. Put tracks on bandcamp, iTunes, or wherever people can click-and-get your creations.
7. Go Local
Building a reputation doesn’t have to start in LA. Getting a loyal fan-base, even if it’s 20 people from your High School, is necessary for spreading the word. Work local gigs and get to know other area musicians. They might be able to hook you up with more contacts and venues.
8. Make Friends
Music is an industry made up of personal connections and who you know is just as important as what you can do. Wherever you perform, leave a good impression. Tip well at bars, be on time, and respect the other artists.
9. Meet in Person
Though an online presence is key, being a public-ghost won’t help you. Be willing to do meet and greets and put your name in the ears of managers and artists alike. Watch the news for music events and get out there.
10. Be Organized
Keep your websites live, compile a press kit, make a list of contacts, and invest in business cards. It will look good to your peers and make the process easier in the long run.