If you are serious about your talent, then one of the most important things is to realise that you are more than just a skilled individual or performer, you are a brand. Name’s are integral to any brand and a good stage name is no different. Imagine Nike had kept their original name Blue Ribbon Sports. Would they have enjoyed the success they have? Arguably not. There are a lot of high quality products out there that do not attain the success they deserve simply because they can not be communicated effectively on a consumer level. Imagine telling all your friends who had not heard of either, about Blue Ribbon Sports and how they’d respond verses telling them about Nike.
As people we inherently make associations when we come across something new. For example an Italian name in the fashion industry might have automatic associations with luxury, as with perhaps a French name in the fragrance industry. It is important to have a name that communicates what you are about both phonetically (ie does it “roll off the tongue” does it sound “sexy” etc) and semantically (what does the name mean).
The keys to a great stage name is meaning, authenticity and uniqueness. Perhaps the best way to attain authenticity is to use your real name. However your real name may not always convey the meaning you want or be unique enough so often amendments in spelling, form or adding a second name will be necessary.
Your name is for first impressions in the wild (online, word of mouth etc), what your image is for first impressions in person. As such it is important to find yourself a good stage name that uniquely represents your talent.