Increasing the number of people listening to the podcast is always a goal for a show, but the strategies to do this differ (even if subtly) depending on who is being targeted.
It's important from the outset to say that growing a podcast audience is hard work.
You are competing in the "attention economy" and so rather than seeing that your podcast has to be better than other podcasts, you are also competing with Netflix, the internet, meditation apps, doing the washing up - basically anything that requires people to devote some attention to you.
The route from hearing about a new podcast to becoming a full time listener is quite treacherous. Whilst "topping up the funnel" with new people discovering your podcast is important, you need to make sure people won't drop off at various stages in their journey. See diagram below
It can be helpful to split out what we mean by "getting more listeners". The total number of people listening to your show at any one time is made up of:
Viewed this way, we can then get strategic about activities to target each of these listener types and increase the numbers.
This is particularly relevant at the start of a podcast - in time existing listeners sharing the show will be the engine of your podcast growth