I am in the process of development, and looking for all possible ways to promote my game .
I already have website, and try to post information about my game here on itch.io, on twitter, on facebook and the like. My game is also on early access on Steam, and I participate in all season discounts.
However, I have a feeling that it's not enough. I plan to to make the final version in a time range of between half-year and a year, and think all the time what's better - to increase marketing efforts already now, or to wait, until the game is almost ready and start a short time before release.
Also, I checked the advertisement links on IndieDB and Rock Paper Shotgun sites. They work with same advertising person\company. They do want a large (for solo) sum for their work, but they seem to work with all major gaming sites. As I understand, their minimum fee is about 1,250$. However, I can't be sure that their work will really be good for me.
So, to summarize, if you have experience, please answer those three questions:
1) Is it a good idea to hire a professional advertiser, if you are an indie, only having money from regular job salary? 2) Has anyone worked with IndieDB \ Rock Paper Shotgun advertisers? Are they good with their job? 3) Considering the answer for above questions is "yes", is it a good idea to start large marketing campaign in half-year before the final release?