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Want to add that, for better or worse, social media and having an online presence is now more and more important to publishers. It means you're bankable and many publishers won't even consider you unless you have a large Twitter following.
It used to be their job to market you, now it's more and more your job to market yourself before you approach them.
With that said, many writers are finding great success using platforms such as Patreon. Specifically, there have been some very notable sci-fi/fantasy writers who have landed six-figure publishing deals after building a following on Patreon.
The general formula on there seems to be publishing chapters and short stories and giving them away for free, then charging fans a nominal sum and giving them more of your fiction writing.
Take that into account that that is a LOT of work and a LOT of writing you will have to produce to get the kind of following where agents/editors will take you seriously.
Sci-fi and fantasy lends itself really well to Patreon because you're generally creating a fictional "universe" and inside that universe you have an endless scope to produce spin-offs and short stories and tangential narratives going off from you main novel.
So if you can get on Pateron, and start writing short stories and build an following BEFORE you approach an agent; well that's just another avenue to get published that is becoming increasingly significant nowadays.
Indeed, you don't even have to write other short stories on there; you could even produce a podcast detailing your journey as a writer, interview other writers going through the process - any type of content that gets you follows, so you can take that to an agent and prove you have a ready-made audience that will help them take you more seriously.