Caitlyn is poised to become more financially successful than Bruce ever was, experts say
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With all of the positive attention she has received in just a few short days following her physical transition from male to female as seen on the cover of Vanity Fair, Caitlyn Jenner is poised to become more of a financial success than Bruce ever was.
Jenner was hailed an American hero upon winning the gold medal in the men’s decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics, going on to cash in on her celebrity with a number of endorsements and motivational speaking engagements.
However, as she revealed in her Vanity Fair profile, Bruce was “always telling lies.” During her public speaking engagements following her gold-medal win, she would wear a bra and panty hose underneath her suit. Caitlyn “doesn’t have any lies,” she says, and her transition has lent itself to a true, overall transformation now that she has connected with her authentic self.
Once again, Jenner serves as inspiration for millions of Americans and, if she chooses to leverage that fame, she could be making “millions, hands down,” Dan Schawbel, author of Me 2.0 and Promote Yourself, tells PEOPLE.
Why Caitlyn Jenner Could Make Millions
“First off, now she’s getting such a huge audience. All the media is paying attention. Media attention transfers into promoting [her docuseries, I Am Cait] and the speaking fees will increase,” Schawbel adds.
Jenner’s fees will surely be bolstered by her new deal at CAA, where she is being represented by top agent Jeff Frasco, PEOPLE has learned. Frasco also reps Carrie Underwood, Simon Fuller, Gordon Ramsay and more – notably, he closed David Beckham‘s reported $250 million deal to join the L.A. Galaxy soccer team, among many other accomplishments which will surely translate into stratospheric success for Jenner.
At her new talent agency, she is being represented for her speaking engagements. She will also work with the CAA Foundation, which will advise her on a new philanthropic strategy that will focus on LGBTQ issues.
It’s worth noting that Jenner’s ex-wife Kris no longer manages Caitlyn’s career, PEOPLE has confirmed.
If Jenner decides to pursue her current marketability, “there’s a lot of opportunity” for her to become even more successful than her daughters, says Henry Schafer, who specializes in pop-culture brand tracking. “She’s certainly going to be the face of transgender people, and I think that’s a positive,” Schafer adds, with the caveat that “when it comes to marketing yourself, it’s definitely most significantly tied to the individual’s willingness to do it.”
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The Introduction and Branding of Caitlyn Jenner
Jenner was recently criticized by transgender TV show host and journalist Zoey Tur, who questioned Jenner’s intentions. “What we’re seeing is the rollout of a product,” she said on a CNN panel hosted by Don Lemon. “It is a continuation of the Kardashian line.”
Jenner no doubt gleaned knowledge from Kris. Without her, “[Seventeen] million people would not have tuned in on April 24 to watch [Caitlyn] tell Diane Sawyer that [s]he is transgender,” The New York Times claimed last month in a profile praising Kris for the family’s success.
However, Caitlyn Jenner is aware of the criticism being lobbed at her: that this entire physical and emotional transition is – at the age of 65 – an elaborate publicity stunt. “I’m not doing it for money,” she told Vanity Fair. “I’m doing it for my soul and to help other people. If I can make a dollar, I certainly am not stupid … I will never make an excuse for something like that.”
That said, the “rollout” of Jenner’s transition has been “extremely smart,” Schafer tells PEOPLE, adding that the 20/20 interview was “crucial” for allowing the viewing public to see a whole different side of Jenner. “It was definitely done the right way. I hope it stays that way.”
Schawbel agrees – with Jenner debuting her (nearly) complete physical transition just over two months after her coming-out to Sawyer and 17 million other people, the timing has been essential: It has kept the buzz and curiosity surrounding Jenner stoked.
How Social Media Is Helping Caitlyn Jenner’s Cause
Bruce always eschewed social media, but Caitlyn is now on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – and breaking records.
“When Jenner was rising as an athlete, social media wasn’t around. Now, there are avenues to monetize using social media,” Schawbel tells PEOPLE. “Kim Kardashian West is famous for charging 20 or 40 thousand dollars per Tweet – there are many more money-making opportunities now than there were before.”
Furthermore, as a public figure with her own personal brand, a successful social media presence is imperative for maintaining relevance once her “firsts” (first red-carpet event, first time out in public) have taken place and I Am Cait has aired.
How Much a Memoir by Caitlyn Jenner Could Earn
While Jenner has yet to announce plans for a memoir, it seems like a natural next step for her to continue to tell the story of her personal journey.
Publishing industry insiders tell Entertainment Weekly that an advance deal could fetch Jenner up to $15 million – as much as Bill Clinton pulled in for his autobiography.
As she continues on her path toward massive personal and professional success while finally living the life she’s always dreamed for herself, her altruistic nature has been a common thread through every interview she’s done so far.
“The only thing I want out of this is just to help people,” she said on Keeping Up with the Kardashians: About Bruce. “Not just the transgender community – it’s really bigger than that. It’s so much more. There are so many things about tolerance towards people, about understanding of people.”
• With reporting by ALEXANDRA HURTADO and JENNIFER GARCIA