You don’t have to pay a company to create a logo for your business. You can get one for free. You don’t need to hire a company to create a positioning line for your company or brand. You can get one for free. You can get free images. You can get almost-free music. You can get free presentation templates. You can get free just about anything except money.

Creativity has all but become a commodity. This is good news for small businesses who wish to tap into the selling power of online marketing. Just about everything is free. All you need is an abundance of free time to source it and compile everything into an actionable marketing initiative.

What is not free is your plan. And without a plan, all that free stuff is worth exactly what you paid for it. Nothing.

A plan is a must. But good news: there are free templates for just about everything and that includes marketing plans.

Get no-cost marketing plans here.

Go here for free images.

This will help you generate headlines for nothing.

Here you can generate a logo.

Create a  3D book cover for that free guide you’re going to give away.

You can conduct surveys for absolutely nothing.

Mailing list marketing? Free.

Develop a free website.

We live in an open source, it’s-all-for-free-world. Wikipedia is an incredible free resource that lives off donations. However, most companies offering things for free have something to sell. For some, it’s your email address.

If you have the time, the discipline and know some of the basics, a small business can easily look professional and much bigger than they are. All for without giving out your credit card number.

However, what is not free is your time. I refer to doing a stock image search as “stock photo Hell”. It can take hours. And that is just for an image or images.

Also what is not free is the thinking required to intelligently fill in the blanks of that great looking template. Because more important to free, is having that plan before you start. While you can get a free marketing plan sample, someone has to make it relevant and appropriate for you.

Regardless of what you can get for nothing, you need a marketing professional for you to make all that stuff gel and work for you.

Or you can go it alone. There are literally millions of free choices for you. And you get to go through them, one by one.

There was a quite famous commercial some time ago for Quaker State Motor Oil. In it, a mechanic was talking about the motor oil and how it protects the engine. He summed it up saying, “You can pay me now or you can pay me later.”

The same is true for marketing professionals.

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