|What do we have here?|
Notice I used the word 'COMMUNICATE' and not 'connect'. Whilst many individuals view LinkedIn as a social media tool used exclusively by and for recruiters, it is first and foremost a 'NETWORKING' tool!
Now most people can and do operate a free LinkedIn account, therefore you don't have access to the 'InMail' tool, but what you do have is the ability to connect via 2nd or 3rd level connections, utilize these by developing a positive and value proposition reason for your connection to communicate with the target person.
A highly reputable and strongly opinionated 'Professional in the Recruitment World' added a comment to one of my recent pinterest 'pins' stating - " LI isn't a social media site. It's a job board/resume database with a Q/A section." I have heard it said by others that they don't like LinkedIn because they are being contacted by 'recruiters', Yep that is right, Recruiters are quite prevalent on LinkedIn and do reach out to people who they feel will add value to their network - that is how they [Recruiters/HR/Sales/etc... can help find [source] potential candidates/business leads to meet their clients needs/requirements in the present and future.