A bit of a different question than the norm...a good friend of mine just came to me asking for my feedback on his marketing plan for his daughter. She's a fantastic singer. I've marketed all sorts of products and services but never an individual.
Suggestions on what to focus on for someone launching their singing career?
Follow Lady Gaga :-)
Even if you don't like her music or style, the truth is she is a marketing genius. I came across this post today that may get you thinking. Although the post is directed at bloggers, not musicians, I think it will give you some ideas.
Not sure your friend will appreciate his daughter prancing around like Lady Gaga though :-)
You may have thought of it but it's impact is 'faster' then we can imagine. Actually shoot her singing a song (or just record it?) in a "whatever best you can afford" environment and post it up on facebook/youtube. If she's good, you'll know it and you can use that to boost up her credibility.
Are there cultural events, college events etc., happening close by? Have her perform there, for free for starters and record the same (a bit professionally and not a shaky handy-cam). Use facebook/youtube again.
Next you can take it to people who can "use" such singing talent - it could even be jingle singers to start with but don't let that deter you.
I'm sure the ladder to success will be more visible by stepping on one rung at a time...
SHE is going to have to get obsessed with self promotion.
Really engaging with people over it. People she knows, people she is inspired by, musicians that could potentially help her.
Also, open mic nights, get a band started with friends, check the classifieds.
A good voice is not enough, you have to be an artist, a band - must brand yourself.
This is what I can think of, watching what the really good musicians I follow on youtube do.
I see four things you need to do.
Another thing, it might be a good idea for her to learn to play an instrument, if she doesn't already play one. Not really related to promotion, but it might help. Specially in the youtube videos, playing an instrument while singing will get you more hits.
Read how Beiber did it. He wasn't lucky...he spent major time on the road, radio stations, store openings, whatever.
But I note you said "She's a fantastic singer." but you didn't say "she wants to be star and will absolutely do anything to get it"... does she?, cause that's what's kinda required.
Youtube is your friend, the first thing I would do is get everything related to the name.
Go ahead and study what would be her diehard demographic (her little monsters) analyze where these people hang out, what do they want and what kind of cultural background they have.
Push her youtube profile by putting up covers of the favorite songs of your core audience.
Show the human side, a candid look into her life that shows how she is just like one of them.
Jump into the internet meme bandwagon. Create some viral content laser focused into appealing to the people that post in reddit, stumbleupon, collegehumor. This should get you enough traction(even if not very popular)
Justin Beiber isn't Justin Beiber by accident. Youtube, get the word out on her talent. Google Rebecca Black and read the news coverage and take heed