I talk to members of many bands and they all ask me about promoting their band. I tell them that it starts with Web presence. Of course hitting your local community hard is important. Doing shows locally and getting the area behind your band. But there is so much more you can do to build up support.
You can start by building a Web site. I will only touch upon the basics of the site here...if there is any interest, I will do an in-depth look at the actual site. But in general, you should provide any important contact information and/or booking information so that visitors who are interested in you can get into touch with you. Certainly offering music is always a safe bet as visitors who have never heard you can hear atleast clips so they can decide what to think of the band. The design and info on the site should make the visitor who is new to your band gain interest in your band. This way people from all over the world can get to your site and be hooked.
Then you need to get people to your band's site. Exchange links with similar bands from all over the world so that visitors to their site who might like your music can find their way to your site. Some places may even place linkable banners or mini-banners on their site for you. Of course make them look interesting enough that a visitor would want to click on them. Next, join some music communites. Drowned is Sound is obviously one of these. Drowned in Sound and sites of the like will bring people in who love music. Then they may search in genres tha they like which could be one that you are listed in. Many of these services will allow you to build a site on their server as well as link your official site to it. These communities will help get you noticed.
One thing that has really helped our band is to offer some free cd's to visitors from various countries and parts of your country. Talk to these people and make sure that they really like you a lot and would want to promote you. You can mail them a copy and tell them to make cassettes and hand them out to everyone they think might like you as well as tell them about your band's site. This will help build a fan base all over the world. Atleast in small groups. But it grows out from there.
So while it is important to get people locally into your band, you can greatly help your band out by creating a strong web presence. In a later article, i will discuss the actual site and what it shoudl have. Best of luck to you.