I'm interested in starting a writing service. I once owned a blog, hired writers to do the writing, I managed everything and after a few years the blog was a success. I later sold the blog.
Now I'm interested in managing writers again but this time taking corporate clients and doing their writing for them. But I'm new to providing a b2b service.
Do you have any suggestions on the first few steps I can take to get started correctly?
I was thinking of corporate blogging as my first service, finding companies who want us to write on their blog everyday, or once a week.
Then I can add more writing services later.
But I dont know if this is a good first step, or how to find companies that want to outsource their writing.
Sounds like you know most of the important pieces but lack the confidence to jump back into the fray. For more than a few years I have been in love with the Lean Startup approach and the MVP. There will always be pros and cons to any approach, but this methodology still packs a lot of horsepower. I have built several companies in just 90 days. My efforts are turbocharged now with this simple approach. More thorough plans are possible than otherwise might be the case.
I use the Lean Canvas by Ash Maurya as my template for any new idea or project that I need to explore in detail before deciding to jump. Then I live in it and share it with others as needed. Those nine blocks in the canvas are pure gold if approached with a few pieces of common sense in hand and if (very big IF) you are willing to take some direction. Look it up at leancanvas dot com and if you want some insight, schedule some time and let's make it happen.
Focus on a niche market first--whichever industries/topics your writers are most comfortable with--and find businesses there.
Research from the Content Marketing Institute shows larger companies (1000+ employees) are more likely to outsource some of their content needs.
Don't forget that although writers are in demand, today's content market is not only verbal; it now has a highly visual emphasis. Look for writers who have experience crafting visual content: video or video scripts/storyboards, infographics, etc. so you have something more to offer clients.
To start finding clients, keep in mind that B2B services are exchanged as part of a relationship, not as a commodity. Most of your clients will come as referrals. Use your current network to get referrals to potential clients. Get to know the people in the niche/s you choose, not just the niche as a whole, and you'll probably notice referrals coming your way through them, if not direct contracts.
Use your website as a referral tool, as well, by building up a body of content and offering a "lead magnet" to grow a subscriber base you can keep updated by showcasing your writers' expertise with articles of interest to them and notifying them of your company's changes and special offers.
If you have any questions about tools and strategies, I'd be happy to talk it through.