How to Get More Jobs: A Practical Guide For Gas Engineers

by | Nov 1, 2023 | Capturing Demand, Finding Work, Repeat Business

Marketing 101 for gas engineers

Jobs are the lifeblood of any heating & plumbing business, and a busy schedule is what keeps businesses like yours afloat and in a position to grow.

But finding work isn’t always a walk in the park – especially for newer businesses that don’t yet have a loyal customer base. The majority of heating business owners are trained engineers, not businesspeople, meaning many of the different skills needed to run a business (including marketing) have to be learnt on the job.

This article will be a practical marketing guide for gas engineers. We’ll walk you through all the major ways you can find jobs for your business and hopefully provide you with some promising ideas.

A quick note on marketing & success

Success can mean many things. For one person, it might mean hiring more employees and scaling up the business. For another, it could mean running a company without the constant stress and worry of finding enough work.

Whatever your definition of success, having a solid source of jobs is crucial – and marketing is key to this. If you know how to encourage customers to work with your company, the world is your oyster (pardon the cliché).

Finding customers, and getting them to find you

The single fundamental goal of marketing is to bring your services to the attention of potential customers. Nowadays, there are so many different ways and places you can do this it can almost be a bit overwhelming.

To simplify things, we can break marketing down into things you do online, and things you do in the real world. For gas engineers, both are effective ways of getting business.

Part I: Growing your digital footprint

A summary of different digital marketing strategies
There are countless ways you can leverage the internet to market your services. Let’s start with the most obvious first: 

Social media

In the UK, people spend an average of 1.56 hours a day on social media. The past decade has seen social media spiral in popularity. It’s now one of the most effective ways to market your business – not just keep up with family and friends. 

Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are three of the most popular in the UK, and all offer great opportunities for heating & plumbing business owners. Social media has become one of the best places to find younger customers who may have just moved to your area and need a gas engineer. 

Here’s what you can do on social media:

  • Post regularly to build a following. Primarily, this is a way for you to build your authority as a professional and spread brand awareness for those who stumble across your account. This will cost you nothing and can be very effective if you play the algorithm’s game (how these platforms decide which content goes viral).
  • Join Facebook groups of any local area you want to service. People often use these groups to find tradespeople like gas engineers and ask for recommendations. This is another cost-free and great way to find more customers and, again, is totally free.
  • Run advertisements. Setting an appropriate budget, social media ads can be used to attract more jobs. All social media platforms offer a range of advertising options which can be cleverly targeted to your ideal customers. 

Your Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is a tool that allows you to get important business information out there to the world. It’s a little pop-up that appears on Google search results and Google Maps when someone searches for your business (or even just gas engineers in their area). 

Here’s an example of Waitrose’s Google Business Profile:

example of a google business profile
It’s completely free and super easy to set up. You’re able to include everything from your address to phone numbers, opening hours, list your services, and website. Speaking of websites…

Your business website 

A good website is one of the most important parts of online marketing. Many of your potential customers use the internet to search for gas engineers. Having a nice website ready and waiting for them is a great way to capture this audience. 

A well-made (and maintained) website will help legitimise your business and make it look more professional.

Here are some things you should include on your website:

  • A contact page, with all relevant contact information including: 
    • Phone numbers
    • Email addresses
    • Physical addresses
  • A services page that talks about what kind of jobs you do.
  • An about us page that talks a bit about your business, its history, etc. 
  • A pricing page that details your current rates.
  • A page for testimonials and/or case studies.
  • And of course an appealing home page.

What about search engine optimisation (SEO)?

SEO is a great strategy and will highly benefit the effectiveness of your website. Using website builders like WordPress, Squarespace or Wix will help you get all the technical aspects of your website sorted, but you’ll have to create the page content yourself. 

You could go deep into the world of SEO, but we would recommend simply creating a few detailed and well-written pages to start like the ones we listed above.

As you’re creating these pages, think about using certain keywords to help attract relevant website traffic (people that might actually ring you up). Some examples include: 

  • gas engineer [your town/city/region]
  • best gas engineer [your town/city/region]
  • heating and plumbing company [your town/city/region]
  • boiler service [your town/city/region]

For example, if you operated around Sevenoaks, you might want to write sentences like:

“We’re a family-run heating and plumbing company based in Sevenoaks. We do boiler servicing and installations in Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, and all nearby areas.”

People in these areas looking for an engineer will type these kind of things into Google, who can then help guide them to your website.

Online directories

Online directories like Checkatrade, Bark, and Rated People are all great places to list your services and get them seen by more customers. 

Often for a small fee, you’ll be able to get your details listed in the very same place that customers go to find tradespeople (like gas engineers).

Google Ads

Once you’ve got a website, a great marketing strategy is to run search engine advertisements. These kind of ads only charge you when a customer clicks, and appear at the top of search engine results where most people click. 

Here’s an example for when we searched for “gas engineer sevenoaks”: 

Example of a google ad
You can tell what’s an ad by whether it has the little “Sponsored” tag above the result. Getting your services in front of your customers like this is an extremely effective method, as most people don’t want to spend ages looking for a good engineer.

While there are plenty of other search engines, Google is by far the biggest (used by almost 94% of us in the UK) and therefore should be your first priority.

Email marketing 

Over the years as you work with more and more customers, you should be accumulating a database of customer details. Sending out marketing emails can help you re-engage with customers who haven’t worked with you in some time and may need some heating or plumbing work done. 

A great example of email marketing is sending out a simple yearly boiler service reminder. Customers are usually keen to service their boilers once a year, and landlords have a legal obligation to do so.

Automated reminders can even be fully automated thanks to apps like Gas Engineer Software

Online reviews

Reviews are an incredibly effective and underrated marketing tool in the trades world. 93% of people admit that online reviews have affected their buying decisions. Crucially, this means the stakes are high in the review game: both negative and positive reviews can have huge effects on the number of jobs you get. 

We recommend you try and encourage your customers to leave reviews after a job. Many are happy to do so, but simply forget. For prospective customers, a good review can help build confidence in your business and ultimately be what gets them to ring up. 

As an example, here are Gas Engineer Software’s reviews on the Apple App Store:

Example of reviews
Having reviews helps build up trust in your brand and can convince customers to work with you.

Some interesting facts about reviews: 

  • A 5/5 rating isn’t necessarily better than a near perfect score. To customers, it suggests there are too few reviews for an accurate rating or something suspicious is going on. 
  • The trades industry is one of the 3 most reliant on reviews.
  • 88% of customers are likely to use a business that responds to reviews, but only 42% if they do not. 
  • 38% of customers believe a 4 star rating is the bare minimum.

Source – BrightLocal’s 2023 Consumer Review Survey

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software

There will always be customers who ring you up, ask for an estimate or quote, then never follow up. Using customer relationship management software helps you keep track of these leads and stay organised. 

Ringing them up and seeing if there’s anything you can do to help them out is an excellent method to turn these leads into booked jobs. If not – you can scratch them off your list. 

Part II: Traditional marketing

A summary of different traditional marketing strategies
Online marketing might be all the buzz right now, but there are still huge gains to be made with traditional marketing tactics. Some of the most effective are:


Printing off a few hundred advertising flyers won’t cost an arm and a leg, and it’s a great way to find more jobs in your local area. The idea follows the same principle as many other marketing tactics: customers don’t always want to go out of their way to find a gas engineer. If one presents itself (quite literally at their doorstep), there’s a good chance they’ll ring up. 

When we spoke to Luke from Blue Bulldog Heating & Plumbing, he mentioned that flyers were an early successful marketing strategy for him: 

“One of the jobs I did today – I was like, hey, where did you get my number? He had one of my old leaflets on his fridge from when I first started. He has kept it all this time.”

Vehicle advertising

Your van goes with you all over the country from job to job. Whether it’s parked in front of a customer’s house or you’re on the move, a van that includes your business name and services is another tried-and-tested marketing strategy for tradespeople. 

The best part about it is that you only have to do it once, and you’re good to go for years to come.

Front garden signs

Similar to having your van wrapped in branding, front garden (or yard) signs are a cheap and easy way to get your business in potential customer’s minds. Simply leaving them outside your customer’s house as you’re working on their property is all that needs to be done. Neighbours of your customers might see the sign and ring you up, as will anyone walking past.

Referrals & word of mouth

We’ve spoken to countless heating & plumbing business owners and many say that their most reliable marketing strategy is simply word of mouth and referrals.

Richie Basquine from RJ Heating said his best piece of advice is “just try to do a good job and hope for word of mouth”.

There’s a few reasons for this: 

  • They’re completely free
  • You don’t really have to do anything extra
  • It’s extremely effective

Referrals are all about turning your customers into your advocates, and keeping them happy. You’ll want to make sure you focus on quality work and offering a professional service, but also think about how you can go the extra mile for them. 

Boiler stickers

Stickers are easy to get printed off, and the design need be nothing more than your logo and contact details. The only other thing you’ve got to do is stick them onto any boiler you work on, whether its an installation or a service. 

The whole idea of boiler stickers is to remind your customers of your business when they need you the most.

Most people aren’t interested in boilers and only look at them when there’s a problem. And if they have a problem, they’ll probably need your help… you can see how these stickers then come in handy and get a bunch more repeat work from previous customers. 

Business cards

Most gas engineers have made business cards for themsleves and their employees at some point. They might seem a bit oudated, but they can still be an extremely effective marketing tool.

We’d always recommend you hand out a business card after you finish a job – especially for new customers. You never know when they might have a friend, neighbour, colleague, or family member in the local area who needs a gas engineer, and they can simply pass your card around. 

Our final takeaway: Look at marketing from the bigger picture 

The whole process of marketing and finding jobs for your business isn’t a one-strategy game. Successful heating & plumbing businesses will be employing several of these strategies at the same time to create their own unique marketing system.

More often than not, a customer needs to “see” or “interact” with a brand several times for them to follow through and book a job. This could mean finding your ad on Google, then your website, and then reading some reviews – although each journey is different. 

We know that heating & plumbing business owners are notoriously strapped for time, so it’s good advice to only continue with the strategies above that are working for your company. It may take some time, but good marketing can make running your business less of a struggle and more about doing the work you love.

Next steps:

If you’ve been thinking about implementing software into your workflow to save time, here’s what you can do next: