Having a personal brand is like possessing the master key to an entire high-rise--they open up doors on many levels.

In addition to establishing credibility, executing a high-powered personal brand can connect you with passionate individuals around the world. It's your golden ticket--the one thing that sets you apart from the masses and gets you invited to the meetings everyone wants to attend.

Unfortunately, not all industries are aware of the importance of maintaining a personal brand. Take the field of psychology, for instance. As a life coach earning my doctorate in clinical psychology, I can attest to the fact that most elite academic psychologists are oblivious to the benefits of maintaining a personal brand.

These professors are at the top of their field--speaking at conferences around the world about deep psychoanalytic concepts--and yet, most don't even have a website. Imagine how many additional opportunities, financial and otherwise, they could acquire if they had a strong personal brand.

On the other hand, most life coaches have personal brands. They lack the expertise and years of training of psychologists, and yet, often earn high rates and have a strong presence on social media. For most successful life coaches, it's assumed that you have a personal brand.

According to Nicolas Cole, a fellow Inc. columnist and Founder of Digital Press, a personal branding agency for CEO's, this conversation is nothing new: "What is common in one industry can be game changing in another--it's all based on context--which is why it's important to study the global landscape, not just what's happening in your own industry."

Taking this advice into account, below are the four things you can expect when building a personal brand in an old industry.

1. Your value will be underestimated, at first.

Early in my graduate school education, people didn't understand why I wrote on Quora every single day. Some of my peers scoffed at my efforts, and many of my professors had no idea what "Inc. Magazine" was. That all starts to change as you build an audience and start making meaningful connections.

2. People have strong reactions, both positive and negative.

Having an elite personal brand elicits feelings of insecurity. Some people react to those feelings by fusing to you--thinking that you are a savior that can help take them to the success they desire. Many others try to minimize your importance as a way to regain the self-esteem they lost when they saw your website.

Regardless, keep in mind that people "won't get it," until they start seeing your name in online publications.

3. Your brand connects you to like-minded pioneers.

The best part about having a personal brand in an old field is that you will immediately make contact with the few other fish in your pond. Because only a handful of people are pioneering personal brands in your field at the moment, you'll easily establish connections to very influential people.

4. The skills you learn make you better at your profession.

Everything that you learn in building a personal brand--the determination, consistency, networking, and marketing--will all translate to your profession. In one way or another, the lessons you learn in building your brand fundamentally change who you are in your area of expertise.

No matter who you are, or what field your in, a personal brand will increase your value. Start reaching out to experts today so that you can improve yourself as a person and professional in your field.

Everyone has access to a master key, but only those who put in the time, energy, and effort get one.

Published on: Apr 24, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.