Katy Flint

North Iowa Women In Business Series Featuring Katy Flint

Meet North Iowa’s mover and shaker, Katy Flint. Katy is a very busy lady who I have always admired. She does not let any grass grow under her feet. She is a go-getter and sets a great example of how a woman can do anything she wants. Katy knows her limitations and is always willing to lend a helping hand when it’s needed. Her business has evolved over time, as she has kept up with the latest and newest things to help her clients in the world of social media. I’ve personally had the pleasure of traveling with Katy on a press trip to Kansas City, Kansas and Katy rocked it!


I actually have several! My blog and social media marketing company is Flint & Co. I also am involved in direct sales with Norwex and Arbonne.


I started my blog in late summer of 2014. I added social media marketing in 2015. I have been in direct sales for 5+ years.


I started my blog as an outlet for my love of writing and to connect with other step-moms. Over time, it evolved into sharing our love of travel and food. Now, I use it to share our favorites in both of those areas with a little real-life thrown in between. I started social media marketing because social media is one of my passions. Using it with my blog along with my sales, I developed some expertise and tips/tricks that could help others and found a couple of businesses to work with. It gives me the ability to be creative with social media posts in a realm that isn’t necessarily what I focus on!


Just go for it! Have confidence in what you are doing and be you. I was told that many years ago by a very smart woman and it really is the best advice. Just be true to you, that will shine through your business! Don’t be afraid to take risks! You can’t move forward if you don’t take a few risks! In direct sales, lean on your upline team leaders. They have knowledge and that’s how they got to their position, so definitely use them to grow your business.


I’ve had so many amazing blogging social media mentors, but you (Sara Broers) have got to be one of them! Donna Hup being another! As far as the sales ends, by upline, April, with Norwex, has been an amazing mentor and coach, as I have learned so much from her.


I am a part of the North Iowa Bloggers and the Midwest Travel Network.


Katy Flint and family

I am married to my husband Tyler and have two amazing step-sons, Riley and Maguire! We also have a Shiba Inu, Nike, who is our fur baby! We stay very busy with our full-time jobs as well as the boys’ activities and fitting some travel in between!




Tips For Not Getting Locked Out Of Facebook

Today was one of those days where I counted more than 7 people who had recently been locked out of Facebook. These folks were fortunate that they were able to regain control of their personal Facebook accounts, which in turn, controlled their Facebook Business Pages. Here are some simple tips on how you can avoid this, so you don’t find yourself in this position.


If you feel you cannot use your real name on any social media platform you have no business being on social media. Facebook and the like were designed for people to have conversations, similar to the days when we picked up the corded telephone to call someone. Yes, we actually talked to each other! Imagine that, a simpler time, where we could all have a friendly conversation and not bicker back and forth. I’m not sure why people feel that they need to use a fake name, but Facebook is really cracking down on people that are posing to be someone else. The lesson here is to use your real name when you open a Facebook account. This practice can be detrimental to any business when someone leaves the company or dies. It often leaves an account with nobody in charge of it and it hangs out on Facebook for years. I have personally tried to get Facebook to remove Facebook Business Pages with this issue and the accounts are still there. Not one person has access to the page, all due to someone setting up a Facebook page with a fake name.


Way back in the days of 2008 or so, businesses began to realize that Facebook was an option for them. Facebook Business Pages came on to the scene and most businesses transitioned to pages where people became Fans, which grew into “Likes.” For whatever reason, some folks never got this message approximately 10 years ago, you need to create a Facebook Business Page for your Business, not a Facebook Personal Account. It’s all fairly straightforward, Facebook wants business owners to be respected as businesses on Facebook, so treat it like a business. Create a Facebook Business Page for your business and you will be good to go. If you think that people want to friend your business, you are doing it all wrong. People want to friend YOU!

Social Media


Facebook is really cracking down on this practice. If you are using your personal page for your business, do not be surprised to learn that your account is no longer accessible. The lesson here, be real, authentic, and honest. If you are having conversations with your friends on your personal Facebook page, you have nothing to worry about. I do have friends that use their personal accounts for their MLM businesses and are successful. I would be leery, as I have seen too many people lose all of their efforts in the blink of an eye.


Do NOT try to have two personal Facebook accounts, as it will catch up to you. I have personally witnessed 3 people lose both accounts due to this practice. You can create multiple Facebook Business Pages that are connected to your personal account. Again, Facebook will know if you are trying to “sneak” something by them, so don’t be “that” person. 

This is the shortened version of how not to lose your personal Facebook account. I feel I do need to apologize, as these are things that have seemed relatively Facebook 101. I often forget that many need to be reminded that Facebook is a business and due to the increased volume of “fake news,” it makes sense that Facebook would crack down on these things.

Now, speaking of Fake News… I’ve got a post on that coming later this week, so stay tuned.


Social Media

Keeping Your Family Safe Online As A New School Year Commences

A new school year is upon us and the first thing many families want to do is share that first school day through social media. In my opinion, that should not be the first thing that comes to your mind. You should be thinking about the conversation you will have with your kiddos after the first day of school. It’s those conversations around the supper table that make a positive difference in the lives of our kids. Here are some tips to keep your family safe online and help you enjoy the new school year.



If you take a photo of your child with other children around them, it may not be ok to share it on Facebook. One of the first arguments I hear from any parent or grandparent is, “I’m only sharing with my friends.” Well, they must have missed the memo that Facebook is part of what is known as the World Wide Web. Hence, nothing is sacred in our online world. Screenshots are so easy to take today and it’s not smart practice to share photos of other minors without permission from the parents. We do not know what is going on in the lives of many kids. By not sharing a photo, you may save a child’s life. Many kids are in the middle of custody battles, have parents dealing with stalkers, and the list goes on and on. Be the protector and keep your photos to yourself.


I cringe every single time that I see a photo of kids boarding a school bus with the bus number and street sign clearly visible. Quite often the social media post also includes the time of day the bus arrives. DO NOT do this! A photo with all of this information makes it very easy for someone to know where your kids are during every single moment of the school day. We put our trust in school bus drivers, teachers, and other school personnel to keep our kids safe; when often times, it’s the parents and/or grandparents actions that put the safety of their kids at risk.


The cute photos with your front door surrounded with beautiful flowers make it very easy for a “bad” guy to find your kids. Often times, your house number is right there in the photo. Find a bush or tree, something very generic to take a photo that you do want to share on social media. You can share the photo, but give away zero information in regards to the location. This means that the location setting on your smartphone also needs to be turned off.

Here’s to a safe school year as new adventures await you and your family. Be safe and smart. It’s up to parents and grandparents to be good online role models. My challenge to each of you is to limit the time you spend on social media and make memories that don’t always involve a smartphone or camera in tow.



Editorial Calendar

How To Remain True To You and Your Business

I have been in this online space for 10+ years and I’m always curious as to why people do what they do. The easy way out, in my opinion, is to do what everyone else is doing. In the grand scheme of things, who will want to do business with you if you don’t set yourself apart from the masses? You need to be you! Be you and you will go far and make a lot of waves where ever your business takes you.

Sara Tuckaway Shores

Fact: The North Iowa Social Media Breakfast Club exists because I saw a need for real-life connections, with folks with an interest in social media. It became such a hit that I even wrote an ebook on How To Start A Social Media Breakfast Club.


It seems these days that there is a Facebook Group for this and that, and many join every single one that pops up. This is an example of how not to grow your business and how to follow the masses. It’s no secret that Facebook Groups offer fabulous business opportunities, yet we each need to know why we are joining these groups. Remember that Facebook Groups offer a sense of security, and people often forget that these groups are still the world wide web. Understand why you need to be in these groups and make sure you are not in them to follow the masses because someone else is doing this. Tip: Never add people to Facebook Groups without their permission.


It’s important to know your worth. If you don’t, how would you expect others to know your value? I see a lot of people going online and asking people what they should charge for this and that. In reality, it’s your business, your rates and you are in the driver’s seat. Why would you, the business owner, let others determine your worth? I’m still trying to figure this one out.


Now, this does not mean that you join every networking group on the planet because everyone else is joining this and that group. What this means is that you join a group that will support and help you grow as a person, which in turn will help you grow your business. I have found my people through the North Iowa Bloggers, Polka Dot Powerhouse, North Iowa Social Media Breakfast Club, Midwest Travel Bloggers and the friends that have welcomed me into the auction world as the social media instructor at World Wide College of Auctioneering. When you find people to connect with in real life, that is where the magic happens.

Sara teaching auction school

The relationships that you form offline are valuable in our ever-connected world today. I’m a firm believer that there is a time and a place to connect online. But, time and time again, I continue to see the best movers and shakers in any industry are the ones that build offline relationships. How are you remaining true to yourself and avoiding the temptation to follow the masses? I’d love to hear how you have tackled this issue.

Laptop and Phone Social Media

Reasons Why Your Community Needs To Be Instagram Worthy

My eyes were again opened to the fact that there are many places that are losing out on getting their name out there because they are home to a historical landmark that is not Instagram worthy. I was recently in a large city in the Midwest, traveling with two friends. One lives on the east coast and the other lives on the west coast. Many of you know that I pride myself on what we have to offer here in the midwest, but I will admit it, I was downright embarrassed when I took them to a site that should have been warm and welcoming. Lo and behold, the site was downright dirty and disgusting.

Sticks and Leaves On Sidewalk


Here’s the issue at hand. I know that the general argument is, “We are coming out of winter.” My traveling friends from the east and west coast don’t care, they expected to take photos of this historical site, possibly write a story about it and even pitch it to a large magazine or newspaper. Due to the fact that it was so downright ugly and not Instagram worthy, not one story will be written or a photo shared on social media. Living here in the Midwest, we often become immune to how things look around us during the cooler months of the year. This photo that I took captured what the rest of the area looked like. If you live in the Midwest, I’m assuming you are thinking, “So what?” Well, it’s time we start turning the “So what?” into something that is Instagram worthy.

This should be a wake-up call to business owners everywhere. How many times have you lost out on a story, social media shares or positive conversations about your business at your local coffee shop due to the fact that you were not paying attention to how your business appeared? With more than 800 million people using Instagram it makes sense to have used a broom or maybe opened up a gallon of paint.

The irony of this particular place is that someone opened the gates so we could walk through this historical site. The windows that held clothing and other items worth viewing were so dirty that a one minute wipe down of the window would have done wonders. The person that opened the gates, in my opinion, could have used a broom and/or rake in places. Again, I’m sure there’s an excuse.

The point being, if you make excuses for everything that drives business away, in the long run, you will not have a business. So, my challenge to you is to look around. Does your business need a little tlc to make things Instagram worthy? If it’s not Instagram worthy, it’s probably turning business away.



Laptop and Phone Social Media

It’s Time To Bring Back The Social In Social Media

Do you remember the day you first hopped on a social media platform? I do and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I signed up for a Twitter account and spent a lot of time watching how to use the platform. I am grateful that I took the time to observe before I jumped in with both feet. I quickly realized that Twitter was a place for conversations and a place to meet new people.

We are now more than 10 years later and it is really disheartening to see how social media has evolved. There are good people in the world, but those trolls seem to be appearing fiercer than ever before. It’s discouraging to see people be so mean and uncaring to each other through social media. It’s also disheartening to see friendships split in half over a post through social media. In the grand scheme of things, I am here to tell you that being mean has never and will never get you very far in life. Use social media for good and life will treat you well.

Social Media Thrivent

So, you may now be asking me, “How do I do that?” Start with the Grandma Rule. If you don’t want your Grandma to see it online, don’t post it. Don’t get caught up in an emotion, your post will catch up with you in a way you did not imagine it would. Common sense goes a long way. Have conversations that matter with people. Listen! I challenge you to listen to what your friends are saying. If you don’t like what your friends are saying, chances are, they are not your friends. It’s time to find new friends that are nice, caring and genuine. Life is too short to fill it with people you don’t like or trust.

Be social on social media. Treat it as though you are having a conversation *gasp*! Yes, I’m saying that you do need to talk to people online. It’s not a place to link drop and treat others in a rude way. I challenge you to have real conversations with your friends and see where social media takes you. If you treat others the way you wish to be treated, social media will be good to you.

Swing by a friend’s Facebook page and say Hi, both of you will be glad you did. If you received awesome service from a business, swing by their Facebook page and give them the five-star rating that they deserve. If you see a Tweet that speaks to you, re-tweet it and share it with your followers. When you fall in love with a Pin on Pinterest, repin it. See how simple it is to be social on social media? I challenge you to step up your social game and see where you find the good in all of this.


Blog Buttons

Blogging Into 2018 And Beyond

There’s a lot of talk about how blogging is dead. Here’s my take on this topic. If you believe blogging is dead, it is. If you believe it is not, it is not. Sounds simple, right? Your blog is your online resume and if you don’t look at it this way, it will probably die out at some point.

Many people blog for different reasons. One of these is the fact that many blog for therapy and an outlet to write. That is perfectly fine. One of my favorite bloggers that writes with a passion of doing good for others, is Beth Ann of It’s Just Life. If you have not visited her blog, do it now! When you read her stories, you can hear her voice. Authenticity is the key when it comes to building your blogging community.

books and blogging

It’s true, a blog on your company website gives you the opportunity to share your story. Who doesn’t love reading a good story? Write stories that showcase your business and boom, you have new customers. Once they land on your company blog, this encourages people to click around and shop. This is one simple way to grow your business through online activity. If you are not a writer, your money could be well spent hiring someone to write stories on your company blog.

If you are new to the blogging space, as many are. The best advice I can give you is to write. The more you write, the more you share, the better you will become. I can tell you that Travel With Sara has evolved and continues to evolve. The Walking Tourists have worked hard and their new book is scheduled for release this spring.The blogging space is not dead. Make sure you have a plan. What does your plan look like and what is your end goal?

If you want to be a part of an accountability group in 2018, I have some spots open. The group is limited to 5 people and during our three-month journey together, we will take your blog & business to a new space. If you would like more information on this opportunity, email me at socialmediasara@yahoo.com and I will email you the details. The first five people to commit, will complete our group this go around.

Happy Blogging and here’s to business success in 2018!


Social Media Thrivent

Tips For Helping Your Business Shine In The New Year

With a new year upon us, it’s never been easier for business owners to introduce themselves to others. Social media has changed how we all shop, receive information and educate others about our businesses. How will you step up your marketing game in the new year? Here are some tips on how you can shine above the competition.


This is something we all hear often, but it is true. A recent study with a local business through Home Grown Social Media proved this point. When you do have a presence through social media, local media will quickly pick up on who you are and what your business is about. The business Home Grown Social Media was studying landed in a feature story in the local newspaper, due to the fact that they were present on their Facebook Business Page. When you are present, you and your business are easy to find and it’s easy for traditional media to feature your business.


Do you wonder if you are using the correct words or terms? When your spelling and punctuation are correct, you do look like a professional. A simple way to check up on yourself is to install Grammarly. 


If you do not know how to do something, hire a professional. It is NEVER ok to hire your 13 year old niece to manage your Facebook Business Page. And yes, I have personally dealt with three businesses that did this in 2017. The clean up of this practice is ongoing and does take months. If you know that hiring a professional is out of the question, I would highly encourage you to purchase the Beginning Tips For Facebook Business Pages Course. This course walks you through the set up of your Facebook Business Page, so you can get the best organic reach through your page. If you need a professional to manage your page, let’s talk!

Sara at SM Summit


When you engage through social media, your business shines and takes on a whole new meaning. Your business looks smart and sharp online. You quickly become the knowledgeable person in your industry and it gives you credibility. Many in the business of social media will argue that numbers are what give you credibility. I will not argue that the numbers look good, but when it comes to credibility; engaging and building relationships is where your business will benefit.

The new year brings exciting things to social media. Stay in tune with what is new, as your checkbook will thank you. If you are local to North Iowa, I would highly encourage you to join us for social media breakfast, which meets the 4th Wednesday of every month from 8:30-10:00 a.m. at Fieldhouse, located at 14 N 3rd Street in Clear Lake, Iowa. It’s free to attend with networking opportunities available. When you partner with other businesses, the opportunities for growth are endless. If you are interested in showcasing your business at the North Iowa Social Media Breakfast Club, send me an email at socialmediasara@yahoo.com and we can discuss the details.


Social Media

Tips For Rocking Your Facebook Group

Facebook Groups are all the rage right now. If you don’t have one attached to your Facebook Business Page, now may be the ideal time to get it going. Let’s face it, we are all struggling with the constant change of the algorithms of Facebook and looking for the best ways to connect with our customers. Here are some tips on how you can keep the group active.


I cannot stress this tip enough. Often times business owners wonder why they are not reaching their customers through Facebook marketing and the answer is often that they are not present. Posting one thing, once a week is not going to help you reach your customers. Facebook recognizes the fact that you are asleep at the wheel and therefore, does not show your content to others on the social media platform.  Make it a point to have a minimum of one daily post to keep your group active. The North Iowa Social Media Breakfast Club Facebook Group is an active group that shares relevant content related to social media.

Social Media Thrivent


Ask questions that are related to your business. For example, if you own a Tupperware business, your Facebook Group would love to learn more about food storage. You could ask, “How long would you keep a container full of chili in your fridge?” This opens up the doorway for discussion about food safety, food storage and allows you, the business owner, an opportunity to share your knowledge. Again, you will need to be present to respond to the comments and questions your Facebook Group Members respond to.


The members of your Facebook Group expect you to be the expert. Share current content that is relevant to your industry. This can be an article, video, blog post or photo that relates to your industry. When you share the content of others, it shows that you are always learning what is new to your industry and willing to share what others are producing. After all, wouldn’t you like others to share your content? You can share from your Facebook Business Page, as this is a good way to build community. Keep in mind, that you don’t want to share everything from your Facebook Business Page, share the content that will make the most difference.  In the world of social media, it’s important to remember that everything that goes around, will come back around.

If you have been asleep while trying to lead your Facebook Group, I’d love to hear how you will be changing things up. If you are present, ask questions and share relevant content on a regular basis, your Facebook Group will grow and you will quickly become the expert in your field.

Iowa Bloggers Conference

Tips For Attending The Iowa Bloggers Conference: 2017


There’s a blog conference coming to my hometown and I’m excited to be a part of it. Mason City, Iowa is not a large metropolitan area, it’s approximately 26,000 people and offers stunning architecture and art experiences. The Iowa Bloggers Conference is going to be held in the offices of the Mason City Chamber of Commerce, 9 North Federal, in the heart of downtown. The fun will start the evening before, for a smaller get together for those wishing to arrive the evening before.


One of the biggest worries that people have when they attend an event, such as a bloggers conference; the biggest hangup seems to be what to wear. Remember that first impressions can often be last impressions, so my advice is to dress for business casual. This can be a nice pair of jeans paired with a sweater and/or top. If you want to wear a jacket and dress pants, by all means, go for it. But know, that it’s most important to dress for you! When you are comfortable, you will enjoy the day much more.

Rascal Flatts


The Hampton Inn & Suites is our host hotel. It’s located a couple miles from our venue, but easy to get to.  This is one of Mason City’s newer hotels and you will be greeted with smiles and will have a hot, complimentary breakfast. Email: HomeGrownSocialMedia@gmail.com for a discount code for the hotel.


There are not many places where you can book an appointment with a mentor. We have two mentors at the Iowa Bloggers Conference, available for you. Jody Halsted & Miriah Whitehurst are experts at what they do. If you want to kick up your blogging game to the next level, we would encourage you to reach out and book a session with one or both of them.


We have geared this conference towards bloggers or want to be bloggers that want to do things the right way. Each presenter will offer tidbits of information that beginner bloggers, as well as advanced bloggers, will find value in.  For myself, the networking opportunities that a blogging conference provides, are simply priceless! Come ready to learn and you will find yourself eager to apply the things that you learned while at the conference.


Some people don’t like carrying business cards around, but in reality, they still work. If you are a beginning blogger, make sure that you have some way for others to stay in contact with you. Business cards may be your answer.

I look forward to seeing YOU at the Iowa Bloggers Conference. Do you need a ticket? Here you go!

http://homegrownsocialmedia.com/iowa-bloggers-conference/  (VIP tickets are still available, as of today)

Note: Sponsorships & Tables are available for business owners & destinations to showcase their community.