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Lawrence Sykes was raised in one of the poorest areas of Manchester, England, and having left school with few qualifications, he is now a successful and trusted online and offline business owner, consultant and entrepreneur.  He also coaches private entrepreneurial clients running small localized businesses to multi-million pound international organizations.

Lawrence educates businesses of all sizes on the importance of building relationships and adding value.  As a result, in the first 3 months of 2012 his implemented strategies have generated over £4 million in revenue for his clients.

His own business education came from actual hands on experience.  He established his first business at the tender age of 21. His wisdom and knowledge comes from a lot of bad decisions.  Some of which sent him close to bankruptcy on more than one occasion.

Two years ago Lawrence established the aptly named Rat Race Winner.  The ethos of this site it to assist business owners, workers and even the unemployed to escape the rat race and maximize on life.

Lawrence’s main passions in life are networking, fundraising, assisting budding entrepreneurs and spending quality time with his family.

What are you working on right now?
I’m currently working on the implementation of a two year plan to build a successful webdesign, marketing and software development company called Zeavo.

Where did the idea for Zeavo come from?
Zeavo was established by my business partner and I as we found it difficult to find a webdesign company in the UK that could deliver sites on time and to our vision.  Finding an emarketing company  to get the site ranking was even harder!

What does your typical day look like?
I wake up at 7.  I spend 30 minutes whilst still in bed, catching up on all the RSS feeds in my RSS aggregator (on my iPad of course).  I then spend the morning with my two sons and help get them ready for school.  I spend 2 days a week in my office, mainly in management meetings.  The rest of my working week is spent on ensuring all my current projects are running smoothly. Of which I do remotely from my iPad or iPhone.  I tend to commit on just 3 projects at any time and focus purely on these.. Shiny Object Syndrome is a productivity killer so I religiously stick to this rule of 3 projects only!

As an Online Marketing expert, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I use time management techniques as detailed in a great book called ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen.  As well as showing you how to effectively manage your time, part of the technique involves you setting short and long term goals and constantly reviewing them.   I recommend everyone else to constantly do the same.   Otherwise you will be like a ship with no compass.

How do you bring ideas to life?
We have support staff in the UK, the Philippines and Pakistan. We also work with various universities and always have students and graduates working within our companies.  If we come up with an idea that gets approved, it’s then fed into our system for implementation.

What’s one trend that really excites you?
Self publishing on Amazon and Apple, especially the Newstand app.  I’m also excited about mobile advertising like Pay Per Call for example.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
At the age of 17 I used to work on a production line.  I worked the 9 to 5 lifestyle for just £50 per week.  It certainly showed me to respect money.  I also discovered that I wasn’t a worker ant!

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Absolutely nothing.  The decisions I made in the past, whether good or bad, have brought me to where I am today.  I have two amazing little boys, a beautiful and loving fiancée and the financial freedom to live life on my terms.  My success is a result of the mistakes I have made!

What is one PPC/SEO/LinkBuilding tip or trick that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Guest posts!  They provide your websites with human traffic and great contextual backlinks.  Two things which are needed since the Google Panda updates of recent.

Tell us a secret about online marketing.
To build trust you have to give amazing value.  I often put together free guides and give them away for free in return for the reader subscribing to the relevant list.  I also create video tutorials and do webinars on internet marketing and business management and often give these away for free to my subscribers.

What are your three favorite online tools and what do you love about them?
Spyfu which is great for reverse engineering competitors successful PPC campaignsEvernote for capturing and managing ideas.  And Basecamp for project management.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
4 Hour Work Week.  It made me re-evaluate my life and learn how to be a master at outsourcing.  As a result I feel I now have the balance right between work and pleasure.

What’s on your playlist?
Black and White by Wretch 32

If you weren’t working on Zeavo, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t working on Zeavo I’d be doing more self-publishing.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

  • Tim Ferriss as he is a cool and innovative guy.
  • Ed Dale as he talks common sense when it comes to internet marketing.
  • Rich Schefren as he is the business guru of the business gurus.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
My three year old son came out with the word ‘idiosyncrasies’ and in context..  He was telling me about his teacher at school and something funny she had done.

Who is your hero?
My fiancee.  She nearly died giving birth to our second and last child.  She held it together and even found the energy to keep me going when Findley was on life support.  Thankfully both of them made a full recovery.

If you was running a PPC campaign for the first time, how would you create a website or landing page to send the traffic to and what would I do to ensure there was a good ROI?
Without a doubt, if I didn’t have the resources to use a professional designer, I would use WordPress with Optimize Press installed.  I would ensure there were clear call to actions above the fold and that all the content was totally relevant.

What do you do to relax and de-stress?
I go for long walks with my family at the weekend, no matter what the weather.  It’s great family time, fantastic exercise and a great way to clear your head!

Connect with Lawrence via:

Where are you located?
Manchester in the United Kingdom.

John Rampton is a PPC Entrepreneur, Author, Founder at Due a finance company helping small business owners. Follow me on Twitter @johnrampton

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