Re: You have to “make it” outside your own country first
I've never really seen this as being an issue. then again I do live in the UK, and generally UK artists gig in the UK & europe. Maybe it's because I grew up with the internet. That said I do know that some countries have heavy preferences towards certain genres (or even eras) when compared to others (useful for marketing).
Russia is an awesome country for anything old (like DED said), and they love live music! Just don't try to sell them any CD's hehe. They love the beatles!
Also south eastern asian kids love metal, especially metalcore. many bands go to tour out there now & have very large concerts for the style of music they perform (I believe shadows falls played to 10k people in Manilla). Compare this to the EU where they would be lucky to get 1k people to a show.
This is where I plan to market one of my metal bands anyway, I already have some contacts out there from the merch/design side so I plan to use those. I wouldn't (couldn't) have known any of these people without the internet. I also have contact with a few manufacturers in china that have competitive prices on vinyl, which I only found out about through talking to those other asian dudes & the bands that they work with.
/offtopic - Personally dunno why you need more than a cult following. As long as that cult grows to be relatively large over time (10-20k) & buy things often when you put quality products out, and attend tours when you come near their city. Actually the easiest way to tour now is to put up polls & ask people where they want to see you, and go to the places with the biggest projected turnout. There are lots of websites which offer this kind of system.
I do remember when natalie imbruglia came to the UK, my brain still feels torn. I'm not sure why australians come here actually. Well other than kylie, she can stay if she wants.
I suppose it happened with alanis morissette too and that horrible "ironic" song. And a few bands like Sum 41. However you'll never see a french or spanish artist make it big in the UK, only english speakers do well here, unless it is some form of dance music.
the band that every artist should take heed from is the grateful dead, their ways of doing things (although I'm sure it wasn't driven purely by profiteering) hold just as much water now as they did then. just with a different medium.
::: if required i'll be on a different forum :::