The Bait & Switch

Built To Sell Radio Episode # 289

Carrie and Dave Kerpen started Likeable Media, a social media agency, in 2006. The business grew to more than 50 employees when the couple met for their annual partner’s retreat. The Kerpens realized their business had blossomed into a big success which they estimated was close to 90% of their net worth.


The Kerpens decided to sell and quickly received a 100% cash offer of 6.5 times EBITDA, which seemed too good to be true given that marketing services businesses almost always involve an earn-out. Turns out it was.


After the Kerpens signed a Letter of Intent (LOI), the acquirer changed the terms of the deal offering just 60% upfront. The Kerpens realized they had fallen victim to a bait and switch and decided to walk away. Lucky they did, as soon after, the Kerpens accepted an offer of around 8.5 times EBITDA.


In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • How to productize a service.

  • The power of naming and trademarking your offerings.

  • How to leverage interns to get your business off the ground for pennies on the dollar.

  • How to stop billing by the hour.

  • The difference between a small business owner vs. an entrepreneur.

  • How to ensure you control the outcome of your earn-out.

Listen Now

About The Guests


Carrie Kerpen

Carrie Kerpen is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, & global champion for women. She is the co-founder and CEO of Likeable Media, a women-led digital agency that she sold to 750-employee 10Pearls in 2021. She is the author of WORK IT: Secrets for Success from the Boldest Women in Business and a columnist for INC and Forbes. Carrie has been featured in the New York Times, ABC World News Tonight, FOX News, & CNBC. She has keynoted conferences in London, Las Vegas, Mexico City, & NYC.


Dave Kerpen

Dave is a serial entrepreneur, New York Times best selling author, and global keynote speaker. Dave is the co-founder and co-CEO of Apprentice, a platform that connects entrepreneurs with the brightest college students as well as the co-founder and CEO of Remembering Live, a virtual memorial service company. Dave is also the co-founder of Listening and Beyond LLC and the co-founder of Likeable Media, an award-winning social media and content marketing agency for big brands. Dave is also a columnist for INC.com, an investor, and most important, husband to Carrie and a Dad to 3 amazing kids. Dave’s newest book is The Art of People: 11 Simple People Skills That Will Get You Everything You Want.



Have You Figured Out How To Productize Your Service?

Part of the Kerpen's success was their ability to productize their services at an early stage. The only way to create a valuable company is to ensure it runs without you, but when the founder is the key to delivering a quality product or service, it’s hard to make any progress. We’ve developed an 8-step approach to helping you productize your service, you can download below.