As a young band, it's very tough to get the attention of taste makers without a fan base. And it's hard to get a fan base without taste makers.
Why is this? Why do so many people in the music industry seem like they live to ignore your music?
Let me introduce to you my buddy, the slush pile.
This is what music industry professionals see every day. There is essentially inifinite music on the planet now. It's inevitible your music will get lost if you don't do something. (That's what this blog is about; getting through the noise)
So in the beginning, we're left with the very unappetizing but very necessary task of bugging people until they listen. Excessive promotion/hype backfies, (you didn't actually need this scientific proof for that, did you?), and not-promoting isn't an answer either.
So how much is enough?
Sadly, there's no easy answer. This is one you have to learn for yourself. Every person you deal with has a different threshhold for how much promotion you can wave at them. Always be concious of how much you talk, what you're saying, and how the other person reacts. The more you learn how to empathize and read people the more effective your marketing will be.
Is your producer battling with an unproductive but very lucrative major label band that's behind deadline? You should probably go easy on contacting them. Stress means a shorter fuse. Is your promoter thinking about cancelling your event? Might be a good time to offer to chip in for flyers and help run them. Think about people.
Yes, this is very simple stuff but it has a profound effect on how people will react to your promotion. You don't want to be a no-name band who is too pushy / stupid / not pushy enough. You'll stay no-name.
It just takes practice.